But I didn’t.
A year ago to the day of Christmas, I was spending it in another country eating a ravishing vegetarian spread. Bread was buttered at the ready, and the kitchen counter was atop with glistening pastries & pizzas and more. Frosted mudcakes, fruit salad, chocolates aplenty and strawberries smothered in cream sat enticingly in the fridge, waiting for their casting call. The sun was shining, and the fresh beach breeze lavished us from metres away. That memory was not going to settle with me by following it up eating a meal that consisted mainly of salad.
A part of me wishes I had seen it coming – or ending. Maybe I would have taken an extra bite of pizza as a kiss goodbye, or gazed at those chocolates a little longer. Sometimes I wish I were more grateful in the ‘moment’, because many of us will know that the present can change in a heartbeat.
However different my festive day was this time around, it was nevertheless surprisingly delicious, albeit a different kind. My Low FODMAP, GF & vegan meal of vege lasagna (that I helped myself to one, two, perhaps three portions of), herbed potatoes, salad and more was totally satisfying.
Food intolerances, food allergies, digestive disorders and the like, making the transition from a meat eater to a vegetarian or a vegan diet or already living on one of the two, can be at times very daunting. I’m not going to lie – pizza adverts on TV can, on the odd occasion, make my mind feel like they’re rolling in slow motion with angel music in the background, beckoning me to crawl through the screen to ecstasy. I swear I could sometimes cry. But it does get easier, a lot easier. For example, my love of pizza can now continue, except on a homemade GF base without cheese. I can actually taste the flavours a lot better, and the bonus is I don’t need a nana nap afterwards from feeling so heavy. And since chocolate got the boot, I now no longer crave it because my body is satisfied in the sweet treat area.
I’ve really found a lot of comfort reading about others with any or all of the above in common, proving that you’re never really alone through it all, and that’s precisely why I’m here sharing my life story to you here on Doctor Feelgood. I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that we all want to feel good. Whatever the reasons for it may be.
Now as for my current situation, I am staying on my vegan Low FODMAP food plan a bit longer than expected. In the re-introducing stages of avoided foods, things weren’t going too flash. Me, myself and chickpeas in particular had several bad dates. I won’t be calling him anytime soon. It was the food hangover that followed that put this hummus lover in thinking mode once more. My digestive system still needs time to heal before I can start playing food paintball with it, to see what it can and can’t take.
Some of you were asking what it is that I’m eating. It really is like a science project at times. For starters, some combos or excessive amounts of the ‘good foods’ are not so great. So it’s a bit of trial and error, but it’s also been a really cool way to discover products that are out there, and try to take in as much info as I can about what’s in our food and why, the vegan lifestyle and what certain foods unbeknownst to us are really doing to our insides.
This is some of what I’ve been having recently:
GF toast with appropriate jam or cashew cheese and sliced veges on top
Brown rice puffs cereal with chopped oranges, coconut, nuts (ground and chopped) – dairy free milk optional
Fruit smoothies – lately blueberries & raspberries with pineapple juice. Spirilina will be next.
GF vegan lasagne
GF toasties with a mix of salad and veges (and of course that cashew cheese!)
Variety of salads
Sushi – we have a great local restaurant that does GF & vegan pieces. A regular treat!
Herbed potatoes stacked with veges and salad
Rice paper rolls with a dipping sauce – these are really easy to make, and filling.
Rice crackers / thins with almond cheese, avo & red capsicum + herbs
Kumara chips or vege chips
Appropriate sliced fruit with toppings
Little Bird raw macaroons
Berries with GF icing sugar
Boxing Day was also my birthday – so I used Love Cake’s Lemon Muffin Mix for the ‘cake’ – so far, so good! – and for dinner it was a treat of the V8 vege burger (vegan-ised) on a GF bun from the local Burger Fuel takeaways.
I’m always on the scout for vegan low FODMAP-friendly treats and eats, so if you have any ideas, chuck them up in the comments section – I’d love to see!
Keep safe these holidays & eat well! RACHEL WALKER