About

No onions, no garlic, no honey, no wheat, no what? Are you on a highly restricted diet for fructose malabsorption and wondering if you can stick with it long-term? Your food may be limited, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Stop focusing on the forbidden and celebrate the pleasures of the table with food so good everyone wants to eat it. Join me as I explore my favorite cookbooks, both old and new, to find delicious ways to use the foods on the low FODMAP diet.

Until recently, food limitations were part of daily life for every cook, either because of wartime rationing, poverty, lack of transportation or seasonal availability. Yet people created great meals. The question was, “What can I do with what I’ve got?” Sometimes all it takes to make a glorious new dish is seeing what another cook came up with and modifying the recipe to suit the ingredients on hand. Generations of cooks have developed a multitude of recipes that you can eat with little or no tweaking, but their solutions are scattered among thousands of cookbooks and magazines.

One of my goals for this blog is to make it easy to find those recipes. And, while I love to spend Saturdays in the kitchen, I think week night cooking should be simple. That means I’m on the look out for ways to cook from scratch while saving time in the kitchen.

There’s a growing body of evidence that indicates that fructose found in sweeteners is bad for everyone. Because of this, I limit sweeteners that contain fructose even though some of them, such as regular sugar, are allowed on the low-FODMAP diet. This is a completely separate issue from fructose malabsorption, which concerns a person’s ability to absorb fructose.

There are 36 vegetables that I can eat on the low-FODMAP diet (I’m not including a couple of the allowed veggies because they’re difficult to find where I live in Alaska). I hope to post at least three different ways to cook each of the veggies on my list. In addition to vegetables, I plan to include recipes for other dishes, including gluten-free baking and dinner ideas.

Happy eating!
Donna

141 thoughts on “About

  1. Wonderful, delicious food! Great tweaks, substitutions and advice given some of your restrictions. Thank you for liking my posts/eats since they are of the 100% full octane variety!

    • Thank you so much. I may not get to eat everything, but I it makes me happy that someone is enjoying it all. I love seeing what people come up. Your pizza looks mouth-watering!

  2. Thanks for dropping by my blog and liking my post! Interesting recipes here.. I will have to try some of the simple ones. 🙂

    • If a recipe calls for oil or butter, substitute garlic infused olive oil and leave out the garlic. Some recipes are difficult, if not impossible, to find a garlic substitute that works. Asafoetida, an Indian spice, can often be used in place of garlic and onions. It’s a very strong spice, though, so use a 1/4 to a 1/2 teaspoon for most recipes, but not ever more than a teaspoon. It tastes best if it’s sauteed in butter first to mellow the flavor. Using asafoetida can be a matter of trial and error. Sometimes it tastes great in something, but the next time you experiment it might be a flop. If neither of these options will work in a recipe, I try to decide what quality the garlic is adding to the dish, for instance, strong garlic flavor, pungency, or just depth of flavor. Then I consider other substitutions, like chives or the green part of scallions. In some recipes you can just leave it out and it will be fine. Hope this helps.

  3. Hi Donna
    Thanks for liking the recipe on my blog. My hubby’s on a low-fodmap diet and initially I was completely overwhelmed (as the main cook) by all the restrictions. I, like you, have been slowly modifying other recipes or creating new ones to make them low-fodmap-friendly!

    • It really is over whelming at first, but I’m discovering that I’m a much more creative cook now than I used to be. Blogging is a great way to share solutions with each other and find out that we are alone in this!

  4. I love the perspective you’ve chosen for your blog! My grandma (my kitchen hero) inspired me to adopt the same saying; “make what you can with what you have”, and Norwegian traditional cooking very much embraces the same idea.

    You put a positive and healthy spin on the limitations of food intolerances, well done!

    -Kristine

    • Thanks! I was thinking of both my grandmothers when I wrote this- they lived through the Great Depression and knew so much about getting by with what’s on hand. I love Norwegian cooking too, especially salmon, potatoes and lefse. Alaska and Norway have a lot in common, so I expect I’ll feel right at home if I ever get to visit there.

  5. THANKS FOR THE SITE would be helpful for some of us to determine what is easy and real. For example one site says eat asparagus, another says never eat asparagus?

    • The best way to proceed is to make sure that you follow the guidelines from Monash University, the leading research facility on this topic. In addition, follow anything written by Sue Shepherd, Peter Gibson or Patsy Catsos (an American dietician specializing in IBS and fructose malabsorption- she follows the Monash protocol and is in touch with the researchers). I also recommend Patsy Catsos’ book, “IBS: Free At Last!”, 2nd ed.

      Part of the problem is that the research is ongoing and continually refined and updated, so many of the internet sources are citing old information. I only use information derived from Monash University research and I try to keep it updated as further information is released. Hope this helps.

      Also, remember that this is a “low” FODMAP diet- depending on your individual tolerance, you can eat a little bit of almost anything, as long as the total amount of fructose or other problem sugar consumed in a meal is low, or below your threshold. Excess glucose will help if you eat something with excess fructose, but it won’t work with the other problem sugars. The key is figuring out what you personally can tolerate.

  6. Donna,
    I didn’t know anything about FODMAP before I visited your blog, and I admit to thinking it looks like hard work. I thought my coeliac disease is enough of a job, not to have to worry about everything else too..

    And what do you know, I will have to learn for I will be commencing the same diet in two weeks (after an initial diet mapping). I admit I’m a little intimidated, but I will say that your blog will be much used and much loved as I need to learn everything from scratch. I only hope I can adapt an attitude even half as wonderful as yours!

    -Kristine

    • Hi Kristine,
      This diet sounds overwhelming at first, but before you know it you’ll have it down pat. The worst part of it is having to watch what you eat in restaurants and not being able to eat convenience food. But in many ways, you’ve already dealt with that because of the celiac disease, so at least that shock is behind you. It’s a chore to cook everything from scratch, but the truth is you can eat really well even on such a restricted diet if you can cook. I can tell by reading your blog that you’re a good cook, so I know you’ll master it. The other important thing is to plan all your meals for the week- I keep a notebook with every week’s menu in it so that I can see at a glance what worked and get ideas when I stumped for something to eat.

      Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can help you with. There’s no sense learning something if you can’t share it with someone else.
      Donna

      • Thanks Donna, I will make good use of your advice and your blog! I have two weeks of food mapping before I have to start fodmap, I’m trying to enjoy the variety whilst I can but it’s hard now that I know where the problem is.

        I am used to diet restrictions so that won’t be new, but with feeling restriced as it is, it is tough to take on yet another level of no-nos. However, blogs like yours are helpful and also create a community.

        Thanks 🙂

  7. How long does it seem to take for a reaction to offending food? I am just embarking on a FODMAP diet. I am about 2 weeks into the diet. My long term continual constipation has been alleviated already. However, I had a bad time last night with a food reaction, I am not sure if it was something that I ate yesterday or indeed 2 days ago. How does one know? If anybody can enlighten me or share their thoughts I would be very grateful.

    • My understanding is that you should wait 4 days before trying a new food, as it can take that long for food related reactions to show up. I recommend Patsy Catsos’ book, “IBS-Free at Last! Second Edition. Change Your Carbs, Change Your Life with the FODMAP Elimination Diet”. Patsy is a registered dietician who specializes in treating patients with fructose malabsorption and her book outlines exactly how to do an elimination diet, including reintroducing foods.

  8. Donna, many thanks for your swift response. I will look at buying Patsy’s book. I feel all alone here in the UK. Not much understanding by many here!! I love your recipes, they look delicious. BTW I recently purchased Dr Sue Shepherd’s and Dr Peter Gibson’s book “food intolerance management plan”. It has some excellent recipes in it. A good section on what Fructose Malapsorption is but somehow it doesn’t tell one quite enough! I think I suffer similarly to you in that my gastro symptoms are always accompanied by insomnia. Where did you discover the connection of the FM symptoms and tryptophan and the resulting chain.
    I would like to read a medic paper on this, especially to show to my husband.

    • My cousin’s husband is a researcher and he gave me some pointers on tracking down research papers, so that’s how I found it. Here’s the info and link to the paper on FM and trytophan: “Fructose Malabsorption Is Associated with Decreased Plasma Tryptophan” M. Ledochowski, B. Widner, C. Murr, B. Sperner-Unterweger & D. Fuchs http://www.fructose.at/pdf/works/11336160.pdf If you’re interested in other research papers on fructose malabsorption and related topics, see my page “Links/Research”.

  9. Thank you for much for visiting my blog! My dad was on the fodmap diet a few months ago and for the first time in MY life his stomach was not causing him distress. I will be sure to send your blog along his way!

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