Family,  Journey to Health,  Wendi's Daily Blog

Weeks 2 and 3 – Low FODMAPS While Also Feeding Guests

Sorry for the delay. We just had our most recent guests leave, so now is the perfect time for me to update you on our Week 2 of living on a Low FODMAPS diet.

As a whole, it has actually been quite enjoyable to eat low FODMAPS. My family is having an opportunity to re-learn, or re-introduce themselves to foods that we used to eat quite often. Why or how we got away from this wonderful habit has led me to ponder and self reflect over the past 2 weeks.

What I first realized was that I initially began to learn how to “feed my family” foods as a way to help them battle homesickness or culture shock. As I learned to make more and more of their favorite, not available in Costa Rica foods, I was rewarded for my efforts by being able to watch my suffering family member relax and “calm down” as they ate the food that reminded them of happier times in their lives. This healing feeding of the soul became a passion for me. It brought me a sense of control, while we were otherwise living in what seemed to be an uncontrollable environment.

As my family grew, many of the foods became requested more and more often. Then the need to comfort themselves with these foods only grew more and more, but their satiation levels didn’t seem to be satisfied like they once were.

Then, as my skills increased, the demand started to spread outside of my family. The need to ask “visitors from Utah” to bring me even more yeast and mini chocolate chips increased substantially. I was no longer helping to feed my own little family, I was now starting to feed members of our church, our church’s missionaries, and then neighbors/expatriates/visitors to our home.

I found myself cooking MAJOR meals at least once a week, if not more. The cooking also became an expectation. That was when the desire and ability to cook for others started to seize up. I started to make mistakes and meals didn’t taste as healing as they had the time before.

My greatest critics were my own little family members. They would ask me, “What happened Mom? It just didn’t taste as good as before?” Or, “Can you make that again, that wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I remembered!”

And, to make matters worse, I would add more fuel to the fire because when no one said anything at all, I would ask how everyone liked it? The looks on their faces would immediately tell me that it was “good enough.” That enough would haunt me. I wanted my food to always be enjoyed.

The desire to serve changed to a desire to be the best. How this happened, I still don’t fully understand, but what I do know is that I was lacking some self esteem. I erroneously used my growing fame for cooking as a way to validate my self worth.

Bad idea!!!

Last October, I could feel that I needed a break from all this cooking madness. It took me almost 2 months to build up the courage to ask, but I finally did ask for help after an insane Thanksgiving dinner party Paul and I hosted.

Thankfully my sweet husband supported me in going on a spontaneous trip to see a friend who lived in Guatemala. Over that week that I interrupted her normal life, I saw a part of my old life calling me home.

Healthy living.

Sarene’s kitchen felt like a healing laboratory. It was filled with foods that my body needed, yet I had learned to not eat anymore. I was shocked to realize this truth. How had I let myself get this far from what I once knew to be true? And why did the idea of eating healthier now scare me???

Well. . . it’s simple. The foods I was being asked to make, over and over again, were foods like: Texas Sheetcake brownies, homemade rolls, cinnamon rolls, lasagna, angel food cake, crepes, homemade pizza (oven and on the grill), homemade bread, homemade donuts, homemade scones, homemade . . . Do you see a running theme of consistent ingredients here???

White Flour, white sugar, butter, and yeast!!

These ingredients became the #1 source of “fulfillment” for my family, as well as for my fans. Yet in all their glory, they never fully satisfied them. Each food that was made only added to the long list of foods that people could ask me to make again. Thus creating a nasty cycle of indulgence and temporary satisfaction.

You might ask, “Do you feel bad that you went down this path of indulgence and these out of control acts of control?”

No!!! I don’t!

I am actually grateful for the good these experiences brought to me and to my family. The socializing, the open feeling that food can bring to a diverse group of people. You see, these foods aren’t “bad”, they simply need to be eat in MODERATION!!! That was the key to this craziness. Our moderation became a constant, an expectation of sorts.

So. . . No! I don’t regret the journey I have been on because I have also developed my talent for cooking, by cooking popular foods from the United States. These foods gave me the opportunity to learn about: taste, texture, quality, quantity, and shelf life. With these new skills, I can now learn to cook foods that encourage healthy living!!!

I can use these skills to add to my knowledge.

Now, with my family on Low FODMAPS, I have an opportunity to learn how to season whole foods with fresh spices, or dry my own. I am also learning to cook with ingredients I have never know about before, like flat rice noodles (a new family favorite). I can also learn to cook for people with a variety of health issues/concerns/allergies. And . . . I can grow and develop a healthier self esteem, not just for myself, but for my family, as they learn to not eat their feelings, bit sit in them, acknowledge them, and then let them go on by. And maybe, just maybe, dinner happened to taste really good that night too. 😉

The 2nd week’s new recipes to try were supposed to be loaded with black beans, bean sprouts, garbanzo beans, etc. Then week 3 we needed to add: cauliflower, mushrooms, celery, fresh corn, and avocado. That was ALOT more fun!!!

Here are some of the new foods we tried!:

  • Gluten free, vegan cornbread – I liked cooking it in the skillet. I made a batch and a half to make sure the bread wasn’t too thin. I’m grateful I did. It allowed for some leftovers. The key to baking gluten free is the flour you use.
  • Strawberry Vinaigrette dressing – we used this dressing on top of a mixed green salad sprinkled with fresh cut strawberries, cucumbers, leek greens, and chopped almonds. It was delicious!
  • Gluten free Satay Noodles – Everyone tried this recipe and they liked it enough to eat it. Even a guest ate some and said he liked it. I thought it was VERY peanut buttery. I don’t think I like cooked peanut butter with soy sauce. But maybe I’ll try to half the peanut butter next time?
  • Veggie Power Soup – I made this soup base again but I added 1 cup of the broth I had made from this recipe 2 weeks ago. I then added a TON of fresh veggies to it: zucchini, mushrooms, mustard greens, cabbage, peas, celery, and baby potatoes (instead of parsnips). It was yummy! With it I made some gluten free, vegan southern style biscuits. Instead of margarine, I splurged and used butter flavored Crisco. Don’t judge. It is what it is. They were a nice treat.
  • And another all-time favorite was plantains with my homemade black bean mix. Yummy!!! We air-fried these babies with a touch of coconut oil and a dash of salt.
  • Air fryer French fries, tossed in a bit of coconut oil, and served with Vegenaise and organic ketchup. Yummy, desperate snack and even dinner when you just don’t feel like eating but you need something before you finish your day.
  • Homemade hummus! Need I say more? Much cheaper to make and very tasty!!! Especially when you need to eat now!
  • Home-created mock taco soup. I made my own low FODMAPS taco seasoning and only used canned tomatoes, canned beans, and a container of tomato sauce. I blended 2/3 of the soup and cooked it with a few leeks. The crowd loved it (non-low FODMAP guests included). They ate it with a few Fritos corn chips on top.
  • While we fed our church’s missionaries, and my youngest son, an ooey-gooey cheesy lasagna, the girls, Paul and I ate a yummy roasted red pepper pasta with the salad and cornbread mentioned above. It was a success! We didn’t starve!
  • Paul has enjoyed making coconut cream ice cream with his ice cream maker. We have had it three times now, but for a family who loves to eat ice cream almost every night, this is a huge improvement! We have had vanilla, chocolate, and fresh strawberry. Next Paul wants to try fresh strawberry chocolate. 🤞🏻
  • My version of Satay Noodles with a sweet teriyaki sauce – my family LOVED this meal! I did too! I ate too much. Is that possible with a stir-fry? Yes. Especially when your stomach and colon have been trying to heal. I made my stir-fry with: mustard greens, red pepper, green cabbage, mushrooms, bean sprouts, broccoli, julienned carrots/zucchini, and flat rice noodles. The sauce was delicious!! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 but I made some changes to it. I used raw sugar, instead of brown, but maple syrup was best! I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes for kick, and a bit more powdered ginger. The fresh didn’t seem to do much – maybe it was old?
  • And Tofu!! Yes, tofu. We did it. We ate it and we didn’t die (like some people think will happen when you try strange foods). I made a Korean BBQ taco out of a couple different recipes. Sauce. Veggies. Ground tofu. It was nice. We used the leftover sauce to make a quick stir-fry lunch the next day for lunch guests. I’m getting good at these stir-fries. 👍🏻
  • And Paul did it. He missed cheese enough to try plant based cheddar cheese. It’s strange. That’s my opinion but edible. It has a nacho spiciness to it, but a texture like velveeta cheese slices. Strange. We had a mock grilled cheese sandwich on gluten free multigrain bread. Not bad, if you only eat a half a sandwich.
  • And the girls have loved making gluten free (chia seed as a substitute egg) waffles. They taste great and look like poppyseed waffles. Yummy with freak maple syrup and fresh strawberries. Sadly, the mix is expensive here. $4 per box and each box makes 2 batches. Each batch feeds 3 people. 🙃

Well, we survived “bean week”! It was a bit uncomfortable and lentils aren’t enjoyed in our family, but garbanzo beans are being slowly tolerated and might be eaten much more often after the 6 weeks are over. And my family cheered to get avocados back, but it made them miss sandwiches even more. 🤦🏻‍♀️

As for any health benefits?

  • GingerSnap – I have SO MUCH MORE ENERGY!! I still have the desire to eat the junk food, but I have the ability to resist. I still don’t like green smoothies, but I know they give me energy, so I drink them. I feel like I WANT to wake up in the morning and do Pilates before I start my day. I have abs! 💪🏻 I also really enjoy the flavors I am eating. I plan on eating them when I am not on this diet anymore.
  • Curly Cook – I feel like I’m always hungry. I still have eczema, but I don’t sneeze as often (she is on this diet to see if her allergies are due to foods she was eating). Sometimes I have more energy! The new foods are yummy, but I DONT LIKE RED PEPPER!
  • Wendi – my body is feeling tighter and more easily able to move. I still get pain in my hips and headaches from time to time, but my friend Sarene says it takes 21 days to fully detox. So I’m aiming for after 21 days to truly decide how I feel.
  • Paul – He says, “I don’t know. It’s not been a bad thing. I mainly eat to live now, but I do miss bread.”

See you next week!

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