jmcbn

9 Belfast Bites

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Having come to the Whole9 party a little late last year, but having seen some good, sustainable results & changes I've decided to re-visit each of the pillars again this year.

I've been paleo/primal for as long as I can remember, am fast approaching my first Whole30 anniversary, and have been comfortably riding my bike for some time. For the most part my personal eating plan looks a lot like Whole30, so for me the January nutritional focus will be FODMAPs.

It finally clicked for me that I have a problem with FODMAPs back in July and I've pretty much eaten exclusively from the green section on >this infographic< ever since, but I LOVE mushrooms, I find leeks add a nice sweetness to many dishes, and I miss avocados. I feel like it's about time I knew exactly what (& how much) I can & can't eat without symptom.

I'm completely comfortable with how I eat generally so I won't be logging food here, other than to record symptoms/findings etc, or any other info I come across along the way that I think might be useful...

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About me: I was born in God's own country (that's Northern Ireland to those who don't know!) but spent my formative years in Greece before moving back 'home'. I'm a single mum to two boys (aged 13 & 9). Currently working full time as a finance manager within the Construction Industry while studying to become a registered nutritionist. My youngest son has multiple food intolerances so I have spent MANY MANY hours with dieticians & nutritionists (particularly during weaning which was a very long slow process) which first piqued my interest in how what we eat effects our bodies & this started me on my paleo journey - as a result my plan is most likely to specialise in the food allergy/intolerance area. Exercise-wise I'm a Tough Mudder, a fan of functional movement & lifting, and train on average 5 days a week.

I'm currently on annual leave and also currently on a period of planned off-roading (which for me involves dairy, alcohol & sugar) during which time I still eat to template, but enjoy a glass of wine (or more) with my meal, and/or follow it up with some quality ice cream, or a slice of pavlova for example, or the occasional paleo 'treat'. This period will end on Jan 2nd, and my FODMAP experiment will begin.

I believe that continuing to follow the template and not scheduling regular (weekly/monthly) off-roading sessions (because then you feel you have to go off-road even if you don't want to) has been the key to my continued success.

"If all the primary ingredients are available for its normal functions, the human body does not engage in making things that are bad for its survival"



 

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LOL I'm hoping they'll make a reappearance. I was having them daily at one point - and I'm aware that over exposure of ANY food can cause problems. But then I sickened myself of them too so I was kind of grateful for the break.

That said, bakalario (fried salted cod), with patzaria (boiled, pickled beets) & skordalia (mashed potato, garlic, olive oil) is a traditional dish for me in the 'fasting' period before Easter.

We'll see how it goes...

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We do long for the foods we need the least, don't we now.  I had a bizarre dream last night.  I dreamt I was pulling tightly woven cables of grains out of my legs last night.  There left big gaping holes like swiss cheese everywhere.   I had one by ankle I wanted to pull out and someone said that one's not ready.  It was barley.

 

The cables of grain were woven so tight and strong.  You don't live in tornado country but straw can go right through the side of a house in high winds and you see it sticking out of wood power poles.  That's what it was like.  Grains.   Strong and mighty. 

 

 

I'm allergic to beets,  do you think you are?

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I don't actually long for beets - it's more that I know they have great nutritional value, and I like to get the most bang for my buck... Plus they taste good combined with cold boiled potatoes in a salad, and they add a  different texture, so they're a win:win - well, at least they were!!  :rolleyes: 

I don't think I'm allergic to beets. In fact I'm not even sure that I have a problem with beets per se. I think my issue is more that I was relying heavily on high FODMAP foods at two meals each day over a period of time and my digestive system couldn't cope with the build up.

My plan going forward is to test each of the groups separately, starting with fructans. I strongly suspect that my problem is mainly with polyols, but that I have lower tolerance for fructans when there is already a build up of polyols in the system. If I start with fructans and I'm right at least I'll have widened my veg horizons a little. I'm not a big fan of fructose containing foods anyways, and lactose is consumed rarely and in limited quantities so I'm not overly concerned about those groups for now.

It should make for an interesting month  :wacko:

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Love your traditional norn irish fare:

bakalario patzaria & skordalia

Ha! That'd be traditional Greek fayre - that's where I learned to cook & so I tend to stick with a lot of the traditions around food... 

Although I'm still partial to painting some hard boiled eggs & rolling them down a hill on Easter Monday!  ;)  :D

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Coffee is one of those things that should be taken only in moderation by people sensitive to FODMAPs.

Prior to Whole30 I was a morning latte a day person, and having given up my latte during my Whole30 I lost that habit. I did start out drinking black coffee at the beginning but found that each day I was drinking less & less from the cup and so eventually I gave up & switched entirely to herbal/green teas.

When I started riding my own bike I thought I'd treat myself to the occasional latte when I was in the vicinity of my favourite Barista which is really not that often - the last time I had a latte from him was possibly September, probably even before that. It's been long enough anyways that I can't quite recall.

Today my boys and I are are off out on our Annual Christmas Day Out, and I'll be indulging in a superbly smooth, strong & rich latte whilst they spend their Christmas money in their favourite shop before heading out for the evening's entertainment.

I could have gone back to the daily latte habit, but I learned that it was exactly that - a habit, a comfort or a crutch even - and one that I didn't need. If I'd opted to have one on a Friday say, as a treat, it would soon have become just a habit again, and one that was most likely causing me digestive distress.

Today I'll savour the flavour, and the smell, the creaminess of the full fat milk - I'll be satisfied, and I'll move on, until next time - and it'll give me something to do while the boys (well, the very sensible eldest at least, money burns a hole in the wee one's pocket!!) contemplate the true value of their potential purchases...

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Our little Christmas day out was a great success - well, the shopping, the entertainment & the coffee all lived up to expectations at least - the food maybe not so much. Thankfully I'd had a substantial breakfast at home, & had managed to source a decent enough lunch once we'd dumped our overnight luggage, so when the food at the gig wasn't what I'd hoped it might be I was able to power through until we got back to the hotel where I had (as always) an emergency tin of tuna, a pack of olives, and a jar of pickles.

Today the boys headed off to their dad's until NYE and I should have been heading out for some eats with a friend. Said friend has taken ill however, and whilst I realise this provides me with a (usually) much sought after training opportunity I decided I'd spend some time with my folks, who have inconsiderately decided to go out.... :rolleyes:  ;) So it looks like tonight's activities will be fitting my new electric blanket, testing out my new PJs, slippers & nightgown, and actually getting in some study as Storm Frank moves in and whips the landscape into a frenzy. I'm so rock'n'roll!!

There will also have to be a little menu planning on the cards for going forward - I'm going to run with reintroducing fructans initially, and I'll be starting with sauerkraut as it's a great addition to breakfast, plus it's good for gut health - IF I can tolerate it obviously. The plan is to try a serving on alternate days over the course of a week and see how far I get before any symptoms appear.

I was eating sauerkraut daily for 3-4mths so I'm hopeful that this reintro will be pain free. Fingers crossed!!

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Aaaaarrrrrggghhhh!!!

I've just spent 30mins of my life that I'm never getting back trying to 'talk' some sense in to an old school friend who is doing the whole 'New Year, New Me' thing & looking at 'attempting' (she's not even convinced she can do it so what does that show you?) some 'Cleanse' for the New Year. This is the same girl I gave a ticking off to some months back for starting (& not finishing) a Juice Cleanse, and the same girl who has tried low fat, nutri-shakes, slimming pills and every other of type weightloss diet known to man, but who is still considerably over weight. The same girl who has been posting photos of her mince pies & fresh cream breakfasts over the holiday period. The same girl who is already on meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and has had surgery for varicose veins.

I'm passionate about Whole30, and I KNOW it could help her change her relationship with food, and I KNOW she would see results but this girl is looking for a quick fix - any kind of quick fix which will allow her to shed weight & go back to her old eating ways. I hate that she can't see that there ARE NO QUICK FIXES - we have to change the way we see food, we have to start treating our bodies the way WE like to be treated - with kindness, humility & generosity - and that does NOT mean a half dozen mince pies washed down with a pint of Ben & Jerrys. It means feeding our bodies wholesome, nutritious, anti-inflammatory foods..... 

Whole30 is NOT a quick fix, and so I'll have to bite my tongue on this one for now - and then offer up some advice when she's actually ready to listen.

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/rant over.
 

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The term FODMAP is an acronym, derived from “Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols”.  

FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates rich in fructose molecules which, even in healthy people are inefficiently absorbed in the small intestine, so I thought it fitting to share some research I stumbled upon some months back regarding fructose and it's impact on our general health.

Summary: Matched calorie for calorie with the simple sugar glucose, fructose causes significant weight gain, physical inactivity, and body fat deposition, a new study has concluded. Because of the addition of high-fructose corn syrup to many soft drinks and processed baked goods, fructose currently accounts for 10 percent of caloric intake for U.S. citizens
 

I don't recall the last time I had a smoothie, although it used to be my 'go-to' when I trained before work in the morning because I could drink it en route to the office. Half an avocado, a banana, x2 dates, some fresh ginger, a scoop of protein powder, and some water/coconut water - protein, fat & carbs - perfect, yet I'd invariably end up feeling bloated for much of the day. When I started Whole30 & dropped the smoothie and replaced it with a proper meal (generally a BAS with mackerel & mayo having eaten my postWO before my shower) the bloating disappeared. It never really dawned on me until my problems with FODMAPs became apparent that it was the contents of the smoothie that were causing me such digestive distress - bananas, dates & avocado are all high FODMAP foods, the coconut water too..... 

Sugar has a lot to answer for.

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It's January 2nd in my part of the world and the festivities are finally over.

Food-wise I off-roaded a lot less than I thought I might, with the box of 'paleo treats' I'd ordered in specifically remaining pretty much intact - undoubtedly helped by the fact that I froze much of it - and so having to take the time to defrost something in order to eat it made me really think about whether or not I wanted/needed that treat.

Alcohol wise I didn't do too badly either - well, considering I'm Irish...  ;)  :ph34r: 

So now that all the Christmas leftovers are gone & the cupboards are rather bare, I'm off out to do some grocery shopping so that I can prep a fresh batch of food.

Will I be making any New Years Resolutions? No. Other than trying figure out what I can & cannot eat with regards to FODMAPs, other than continuing on this same path towards better overall health, other than continuing my studies, all of which fit in with my Whole9 Challenge I am happy, content & grateful for who I am, how far I've come, and the friends and family I have around me. 

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I don't actually long for beets - it's more that I know they have great nutritional value, and I like to get the most bang for my buck... Plus they taste good combined with cold boiled potatoes in a salad, and they add a  different texture, so they're a win:win - well, at least they were!!  :rolleyes: 

I don't think I'm allergic to beets. In fact I'm not even sure that I have a problem with beets per se. I think my issue is more that I was relying heavily on high FODMAP foods at two meals each day over a period of time and my digestive system couldn't cope with the build up.

 

 

 

I'll be curious to observe the FODMAP testing you're doing. It seems that awareness of FODMAPS in general is a good argument for getting variety in one's diet. I tend to like the same food and cook them in batches, but this means I eat roasted broccoli every day. Also, I rely heavily on avocado. At this time I don't see any "issues" resulting from doing so, but I want to avoid problems, so more variety is probably better for that reason as well as other reasons. :)

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Back from the shopping trip & this week's haul brought in:

~ A large whole chicken which will go in the slow cooker
~ Salmon, haddock & trout fillets (reduced to half price so an absolute bargain) - I'll cook these together in foil with some coconut oil & some shredded carrots, freshly grated ginger, scallions & spices, then I'll stir in some coconut cream when it's all cooked
~ Some italian sausage (also half price!!) which will go into a greek style casserole with sweet peppers & plum tomatoes with lots of paprika to give it a nice smokey flavour
~ Smoked peppered mackerel
~ Sauerkraut for my first FODMAP reintro
~ Pickled gherkins
~ Dill cucumbers in brine
~ Kale, & courgettes/zucchini which will be braised in ghee
~ Parsnip, carrots, & turnip for roasting
~ Spinach, cucumbers, & cherry tomatoes for salads
~ Walnut oil for more mayo

~ A mixture of olives

As always I have a supply of tinned fish on hand, a selection of oils, and a few dozen eggs. Using all of these ingredients I'll mix & match each of my meals rather than trying to cook individual recipes - having eaten this way for some time I've found that this is what works best for me and it means I'm not eating the exact same meals for days on end which can become tiresome.

I think this little lot will cover all bases.

I haven't had gherkins/dill cucumbers since I cut out the sauerkraut back around August so I'm a little excited about adding these back in again - I've found in the past that if my appetite is waning, or I'm suffering from a (v rare) cold that the strong flavour of these really hits the spot. And there's nothing quite like kraut & gherkins along side your eggs to wake you up in the morning!

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I'll be curious to observe the FODMAP testing you're doing. It seems that awareness of FODMAPS in general is a good argument for getting variety in one's diet. I tend to like the same food and cook them in batches, but this means I eat roasted broccoli every day. Also, I rely heavily on avocado. At this time I don't see any "issues" resulting from doing so, but I want to avoid problems, so more variety is probably better for that reason as well as other reasons. :)

Variety is definitely key - not just to avoid the build up of the offending sugars in the system, but to cover all of our nutritional needs and I think those needs change over time as a result of activity levels, stress levels, time of the month, sleep deprivation, age, seasons etc... For years I relied heavily on avocados and thought I'd be lost without them when I had that 'light bulb' moment, and yet I've found that I function much better when I get my fat from other sources.

Sometimes it's when you take yourself out of your 'comfort zone' you find that it wasn't actually that comfortable.

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Variety is definitely key - not just to avoid the build up of the offending sugars in the system, but to cover all of our nutritional needs and I think those needs change over time as a result of activity levels, stress levels, time of the month, sleep deprivation, age, seasons etc... For years I relied heavily on avocados and thought I'd be lost without them when I had that 'light bulb' moment, and yet I've found that I function much better when I get my fat from other sources.

Sometimes it's when you take yourself out of your 'comfort zone' you find that it wasn't actually that comfortable.

 

 

Now that's some serious wisdom.

 

Variety in proteins is a horse of a different color.  I know Ireland has quality proteins, markets and butchers.   Your food over there is probably the best I've ever had in my entire life.  You are the fortunate one.   Your butchers will probably tell if you if a pound of ground turkey consists of 1000's of fowl or just one. Same with ground beef and pork.   Singular is my preference for meat processing. Ground beef coming from many different countries to create just one complex pound of who in the world knows what it is.  I don't touch ground turkey. I'm thankful for local beef/processing.  We know who and what it is. 

 

Variety.   Produce of every kind is key.  

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Now that's some serious wisdom.

 

Variety in proteins is a horse of a different color.  I know Ireland has quality proteins, markets and butchers.   Your food over there is probably the best I've ever had in my entire life.  You are the fortunate one.   Your butchers will probably tell if you if a pound of ground turkey consists of 1000's of fowl or just one. Same with ground beef and pork.   Singular is my preference for meat processing. Ground beef coming from many different countries to create just one complex pound of who in the world knows what it is.  I don't touch ground turkey. I'm thankful for local beef/processing.  We know who and what it is. 

I buy all my meat here from a farm shop. If I ask they can tell me the exact source of each cut of meat. I get gifted bones for broth, and get preferential prices because I shop there regularly. If what I want isn't on the counter they'll go out the back & cut it for me from a hunk of meat hanging in their fridges. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I read very recently that packaged meat in the States will nolonger have to show it's country of origin <shudder> I reckon if I asked my butcher he could take me to the farm & point out where my next piece of shin (or whatever) was likely to be coming from.

As for fish I can go to the harbour & buy straight off the boats, or I can buy from a local fishmonger. Either way I know what I'm getting.

 

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That's correct, jmcbn.   You can look into the meat case and roll the dice.   Ground turkey is probably the biggest multi-crap shoot in the case.   

 

I'm sure you are everyone's favorite in town.   I can see that.  Apples don't fall far from the trees...sons, ditto.   Happy New Year,  Belfast BeeBee.

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Ground turkey. Bleurgh!

We eat turkey at Christmas and that's it - and even then it's locally bred. It's as bland as a bland thing on a bland day in bland land - no matter what herbs/spices you add to it. I'm pretty sure it was the roasted veg and other sides that made our Christmas dinners so tasty.

Pass the steaks!!  :D 

 

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Ground turkey.  El Paso.  Neva eva.       A steak trumps ground turkey every single time.  Saw a news spot right before Christmas with the special light showing the footsteps a turkey leaves behind in the kitchen before it ever gets into the oven.  All over the walls, sink, countertop, fridge, floor.   Oh, brother.  

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They say, whoever they are...just throw the thing in the oven and don't wash it.   

 

I say,  put it in a clean (unscented of course :P  :P ) garbage sack and deal with it in there. Wrestle it around and then throw the bag out.  Maw uses plastic disposable gloves and like a surgeon rolls them down over the top of themselves...throws them out.  I wrestle it around on the floor in a big black lawn sack..."you dirty rat" and then throw the bag out.  Ooo,  I use gloves, too.    I don't want turkey footprints all over my kitchen.  :P 

 

Bear has cabbaged onto this tip.  He now uses a black lawn sack for seasoning up his brisket, ribs and so on.  Put the bag in the fridge until ready without a huge mess and throw it out.  Works great.  My idea.   :D 

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Bear has cabbaged onto this tip.  He now uses a black lawn sack for seasoning up his brisket, ribs and so on.  Put the bag in the fridge until ready without a huge mess and throw it out.  Works great.  My idea.   :D 

Ooooh, I do this too!! Not a lawn sack but I get large zippy bags & will add my seasoning mix or marinade to the bag & then add the meat, then zip & shake, or zip & leave in the fridge depending on the contents.... It works so much better than a pyrex as it takes up so much less space.

I actually saw this done in a farm shop somewhere when I was on a weekend trip & looking for meat for a BBQ. I've no idea what was in their seasoning mixes as they were labelled fairly loosely (ie. Mexican, Asian, Chinese, Mediterranean) but I thought the idea was genius so 'took it home'!!

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