Wow, I really can't get over the idea that I've been on a Low FODMAP diet for a year already. When I say it's been a life changing year, it really, really has. Strange to say it, but June 2015 felt like "a new start" for me, because for the first time since I could remember, it felt like I had my IBS under control.
I went on the Low FODMAP diet after years of struggling with terrible IBS. As most IBS sufferers, my IBS would come and go every couple of months. I would have weeks of terrible flare ups, and then they would ease off, usually after having tried some kind of medicine, diet change, or just a fluke. But it would never last, and time after time, I would feel like I was back at square one. It was at its absolute worst in 2013, resulting in daily panic attacks, a fear of eating, a fear of leaving my home, and a 10KG weight loss. I was on antidepressants and beta blockers for my stress levels, and I was seeing a therapist. Needless to say, it's well known that IBS is linked to stress levels, so it wasn't helped by the fact that I was involved in a horrible relationship. That relationship ended, the medicine kicked in, my stress levels diminished and I started to feel a bit better. I put weight back on, I could eat again, and I was having fun. A year and a half later, I was still happy, but my symptoms were starting flare again, and at this point, I had really, really had enough.
I knew that the Low FODMAP diet existed, but I hadn't put myself on it because I knew how restrictive it was. I was in denial, and really didn't want to try it. But when all else had failed and I had exhausted all other options, I was relieved when the dietician I started to see suggested I try it.
It was life changing within two weeks.
For the first time since I could remember, I was finally able to cook for myself, and know that the next day I would feel better again. I was excited to eat! I felt confident, I was in less pain, and I was enjoying my food. I started this blog because I felt so excited about the changes that I was experiencing that I HAD to tell everyone about it! The Low FODMAP diet didn't just make me feel better, it's allowed me to grow in confidence, to feel creative and inspired again, to try new things and to eat without fear.
You'll probably have noticed that in the past couple of months, the focus of my blog has veered away from food and recipes quite a lot. There's a reason for that, and it's a positive one. Mainly, I've finally figured out what my tummy likes, so I've got a set of go to recipes that are healthy, yummy and most importantly, make me feel good. I spent so much time playing around in the kitchen because I was desperately searching for recipes which would please my stomach. When I went Low FODMAP, it was daunting and scary; so many key ingredients and foods are suddenly off the menu. I'm someone who loves food, so my natural reaction was to start finding ways to still be able to eat all the foods I love, but with different ingredients so that they wouldn't upset my gut. Over time, I've done just that, and my desperation to experiment in the kitchen has also diminished. Don't get me wrong, I still love to cook and bake and all that jazz, but the need to be creative isn't quite as prominent. That being said, I have got a few recipes up my sleeve that I'd like so share with you all, so watch this space!
I realise this post is a bit of a ramble, but this diet has worked so well for me that if you have IBS and haven't tried it yet, I really do urge you to. I know that it's not the diet that's changed my life, it's the fact that I'm finally feeling better that has. But the Low FODMAP diet was definitely the key factor in allowing that to happen. If you'd like to know more about what the low FODMAP diet is, then read this post I wrote about it. My blogs recipes are all Low FODMAP, and you can find all my low FODMAP kitchen essentials here.
If you've got any more questions about Low FODMAP and you want to speak to someone in confidence about it, I'm more than happy to chat about it and my experience! Pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org :)