28 March 2012

Diary of a FODMAPee : Week 2

So I'm craving. They said I would, but I didn't realise it would be this bad. Mostly I'm craving these things:
  • Nandos
  • Pizza, pizza, pizza
  • Mini Eggs
  • Doughnuts (odd, because I never really ate doughnuts before)
  • Biscuits (the custard cream variety in particular)
  • Guinness 
The cravings are bad when I'm at home, but I can always just pop out to the kitchen and sort them out with a hazelnut kernel or a Nutella smeared rice cake. (Yes, I know it sounds sad.)  But the trouble starts when I'm out and about. Eating out on the FODMAP diet is an absolute nightmare. I've become the difficult customer. The fuss pot. Everyone thinks it's because I'm trying to lose weight. I receive such disapproving looks being a size 10 dress size sitting in Wagamamas and asking to see the vital statistics of my itame rice noodle soup.

Two weeks in, and I'll have to hold my hands up to having given into my cravings only twice. But really, I've been quite good.

The Good - Day Ten

I'd gone for a glass of wine after work with Liam, and after picking out a nice Malbec (chosen second place to a cold pint of Guinness) we settled down on one of the sofas. Liam picked up the flyer on our table and mentioned casually how it was £5 pizza night.

"It's okay, I wont get one..." He said, in a sad sort of voice.

The cranky craving voice inside my head was all indignant: Of course you won’t get one. If I can't have a big wheaty pizza, you can't either!
But I remembered how he'd graciously eaten quinoa and celery dinners the past week as moral support, so I smiled weakly and said;

"Oh go on, get one. I don't mind... Really."

I half meant it.

Although, as the bartender bought out the most enormous gooey, cheesy and tomatoey pizza, with whopping amounts of pepperoni on top, I began to seriously regret it.

"I bought one with extra pepperoni, so you wouldn't feel too bad." Liam said, picking up his knife and fork.

That was true, I hated pepperoni. Although, today... looking at this pizza, I would have eaten the lot (vegetarian or not). It smelt amazing.
After he'd devoured most of the pizza (whilst I clutched my big glass of Malbec, eyeing every mouthful and shaking slightly), he sat back and rubbed his belly, having left a row of half-eaten crusts around the edge of his plate.
I felt like one of those dogs who sit under the table at tea-time. 
I turned to him, before suggesting rather hopelessly;

"Do you reckon it'd be okay if I suck the crusts? - I could spit them out after?"

"Um. No. I don’t." He said.

So I didn't. 

The Bad - Day Fourteen

It was Sunday, and I was in a foul mood. Perhaps because it was one of the most beautiful sunny days we have had in London all year and I was stuck in Westfield Shopping Centre, or maybe I was in a strop because I'd lost my debit card, and couldn't buy anything. It was busy, so everyone seemed to get in my way and none of the mirrors in the changing rooms made me look good in anything. As all the shops started to close at 6:00pm, Liam turns to me.

"I'm really hungry. Do you fancy a Nandos?"

I shot him a look, pissed off he'd mention one of my forbidden foods at a time like this.
But he carried on;

"Look - you can have the chips ('cos really, they're just potato), corn-on-the-cob, maybe mashed potato...? Even chicken!"
"But I'm supposed to be a vegetarian..." I trailed off.

It's been a bit of an issue being a vegetarian and on the FODMAP diet. I'd need to eat about a hundred eggs a day to get my daily dose of protein, as I'm not really a fan of fish. The dietician shook her head when I told her I'd decided to go veggie since Christmas for 'ethical reasons'. She looked at me like I was nuts when I told her I didn't really like fish, and I only liked 'seriously cheesy' omelettes covered in tomato ketchup.
The letter she wrote to my GP set me straight (and covered her own arse) stating in black and white how she strongly advised me to eat chicken, fish and more eggs. Perhaps a trip to Nandos was a good opportunity to break my morals in order to get healthy.

"Okay. Let's do it." I said to Liam, and beamed for the first time that afternoon.

I hadn't anticipated the temptation of Nandos sauce. Everyone who's been to Nandos knows that their spicy sauce is quite simply, incredible.  That sauce - a secret recipe, a hot, peri-peri dream that tingles on your taste buds and stamps you with a loyalty to Nandos that doesn't ever budge, believe me. Trying my luck, I walked up to the counter to find the manager.

"Excuse me; I wondered if I could see the ingredient list for the Nandos sauce?" I asked politely.
"You've got allergies?" The manager asked.
"Kind of."  I said, as he thumped a gigantic catalogue-style book on the counter.

He flicked through the pages, listing all the diets that could eat the sauce.

"Wheat free... soya free... egg free.... All fine. No problems with the sauce." He said proudly.
As I felt embarrassed enough asking in the first place, I didn't like to explain that my diet was a complicated one, which wasn't even on his list. I simply said:
"What about onions and garlic? Does the sauce contain those?"
"Are you allergic...?" He began.
"Um. Well. No..." I said, blushing.
"...because if you’re allergic to onions, I really wouldn't eat that sauce."
"Right, thanks." I said before scuttling back to my table as quickly as possible.

Liam looked at me, expectantly.
I turned red. 
"Well he didn't say it was 100% ok, and he didn't say it wasn't."
"Oh." he said.
There was a pause, where the good and the bad angel on my shoulder had a minor row. The bad angel won.  
"Do you reckon I could claim ignorance on this one..?" I said, wrinkling up my nose.
And without waiting for an answer - I did.


  1. I know exactly what you're going through. It's hard to adjust to the diet alone but watching people around you eating something that you're craving for is even harder. It gets easier though, believe me :) *hugs*

  2. I'm one of those picky customers, too. I'm allergic to cilantro and bananas; onions aggravate my migraines; I'll never eat peaches or anything that looks like peaches; barbecue sauce will never cross these lips.
    Can you imagine having to ask the waiter to whip up some cilantro-free salsa at every Mexican food restaurant in Texas? (I can.)