So, Derek and I have been on this diet now for about a month and a half. We are halfway through the 3 months suggested by our doctor. If I said we weren’t extremely excited to be done with this I would be lying. I already have a full list of restaurants I want to go to as soon as it is done! Things started off pretty rocky. It was such a huge adjustment to be so restricted on what we could eat. I was spending so much time grocery shopping and cooking. In the beginning stages I was also always looking things up to make sure I had the correct serving sizes and that I wasn’t combining FODMAP foods. It was exhausting. Not only was it time consuming but our bodies also felt bad. We had about a two-week period of detoxing where we felt pretty terrible.
There are a few things I picked up to make this whole process easier. One was simply just being more familiar with what was allowed and getting into a groove of meals I could make. Once I wasn’t always double checking ingredients, it made things go by faster. I started getting groceries delivered which saved SO much time. I have been using Amazon Fresh and also Milk and Eggs. These services have been life changing. Figuring out how much we actually eat has been very helpful. I would prep some chicken and vegetables thinking it would last a couple days and it would be gone by dinner. Since the diet is so restrictive we have been eating way more of what is actually allowed so it runs out super quick.
The social aspect of it has been the hardest. Much of our social life is going out to dinner as a couple and with friends. We didn’t realize it would be so hard, that we wouldn’t really be able to eat out anywhere. We tried a few times going out and eating beforehand but it just made things harder and for me was super frustrating to be surrounded by all the foods I couldn’t have. I felt like I was being taunted. We have made adjustments and have been more creative with our outings and activities, trying to make things less focused on food. Being in Southern California makes things easy because there are so many outdoor adventures and beautiful places we can go to distract us from missing out on food.
One of the biggest things about being on this diet that I didn’t even think of is how it affects us as a married couple. As excited newlyweds, we love exploring together. Throughout our relationship and in the first few months of marriage before starting the diet we would go out to new places and take little weekend trips away. Being on this diet has made that basically impossible. We can’t really be gone from our apartment all day let alone go away for the weekend. This is something I really miss and never realized was such a big part of us. Another big part of being a newly married couple is going out with our other couple friends and this is something that has basically been put on hold for now.
Being on this diet you can’t be lazy. You can’t come home from a long day, sit down on the couch and order food from your favorite restaurant. If I am running to a client and didn’t have time for lunch I can’t just pop into Whole Foods and grab food from the hot bar or even a smoothie. Every meal has to be planned out and prepared. There have been many times where it is late in the afternoon and all of the sudden I remember I didn’t take meat out of the freezer to defrost in time for dinner. These are little things you take advantage of when there aren’t many restrictions to what you can eat. You know if you need to you can run out and grab something or order in, but not for LOWFODMAP.
This diet is not something I would recommend unless prescribed by a diet. It is not something to be on long term because there are so many restrictions. I know that we are doing this to heal our guts and figure out what triggers side effects, but I also feel my body is missing some key nutrients from foods we can’t have. After the elimination 3 months we do a reintroduction. Each of the letters in FODMAP stand for a different category of foods (mostly different carbohydrates). We will test each category individually for 3 days to notice any symptoms and between each category we will do a 3 day “wash period” to make sure our system is clean and we know what exactly is making us feel badly.
What are some things that I miss the most? Brussel sprouts is number one. I absolutely love these roasted veggies. There are so many restaurants in LA that have the best roasted sprouts and I can’t wait to have them again. I miss smoothie bowls. I can still have smoothies but they have to be very specific. I can’t have certain fruits and others can’t be mixed together. I used to make a smoothie bowl every morning with riced cauliflower, banana and strawberries topped with granola and other goodies. Most of these things are off limits so I have had to switch up my go to breakfast. I miss my go to weekend treat, Halo Top ice cream. The dairy free oatmeal cookie is my favorite flavor and I CANNOT wait to have it again.
When I find out which categories are triggers for me I am not going to cut them out of my life forever if it is something I really enjoy. Since I have had problems with restrictive eating before, I don’t want to put myself in that place again. I am a true believer in eating intuitively and giving your body what it desires. Knowing what are triggers will be good knowledge to have and I can make a decision knowing what the consequences will be. I do not want to go back to a place of severe restriction and labeling foods as good and bad. I want to be in a place where I am educated on what functions the best with my body and then go from there.
Derek and I are both super excited to go back to a non-restrictive lifestyle and enjoy our time as newlyweds exploring our city and surrounding areas. We are excited for the summer and hanging out with friends. I am excited to not have to cook every single day and sit on my couch at night with a pint of Halo Top. We are so close!