I have come to the conclusion that had I been born in the 1800’s, I most certainly would be dead by now. My body is poorly adapted for everyday living. My glasses are Coke bottle thick. I have allergies, eczema, and most recently my body decided to start rejecting seemingly random foods. I already feel bad for the traits my poor children are bound to inherit.
I’ve struggled with digestive issues for 6-8 years now, but in the past two months, these issues have been exacerbated. I’ve been waking up with sharp stomach pains, among other symptoms experienced throughout the day. And the weird thing is that we eat relatively healthy, probably 80% Paleo on any given day. It seems like eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and meat should be the ideal diet for maximum stomach happiness.
Completely befuddled, Nick and I did some research and found the low FODMAP diet. This diet identifies five major categories of food known to trigger digestive discomfort: Fermentable Oligosaccharides (ex. beans, lentils), Disaccharides (ex. milk, soft cheeses), Monosaccharides (ex. honey, high fructose corn syrup, various fruits, wheat), and Polyols (ex. apples, mushrooms, sugar-free gum). The idea is to eliminate all five categories of food until you’re symptom free for several days. After that, you slowly introduce each category back into your diet, one at a time to identify the foods that affect you.
While I’m excited to start identifying my trigger foods, the diet is a bit overwhelming as its pretty restrictive. Garlic and onions are in almost every savory dish and are certainly a staple in our kitchen. Dried fruit has always been one of my go-to sweet treats and now that’s been cut off (with the exception of a small amount of dried cranberries).
While the diet is doable, it’s already required more prep work than Paleo. To help limit any feelings of deprivation, I spent a portion of this past weekend stocking up on approved foods and making a couple “treats.” Larabars have always been my go to snack bar, as they have limited ingredients, but they have too high of a fructose load to comply with low FODMAP parameters. Not one to mope, I found and adapted a great quinoa granola bar recipe from Ambitious Kitchen. Not only does this bar taste great, it has some serious staying power thanks to the protein from the quinoa and the fiber from the oats.
Quinoa Granola Bars
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup uncooked pre-rinsed quinoa
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup natural creamy almond butter
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and/or grease with oil or butter of your choice. Personally, I like to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and then grease the sides with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, uncooked quinoa, salt, pumpkin pie spice, pecans, and cranberries.
- Vigorously stir mashed banana, honey, almond butter, and vanilla together to combine. If your almond butter and honey aren’t very drippy, you can heat them up first in a saucepan on low heat.
- Fold the liquid ingredients into the granola bar mixture until well combined. Pour into prepared pan and press down firmly with hands or a spatula to help the bars stay intact. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 8-10 bars.
So far I’ve had one a day and they’ve hit the spot. To me, they taste a little but like tapioca pudding. It may sound like a weird flavor, but it’s delicious!
Have you ever tried an elimination diet? Do you have any foods you have a hard time tolerating? I’d love to know that I’m not alone!