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Lactose is a FODMAP?  See now, I thought FODMAPs were about fructose, rather than lactose, which is a different sugar.  I will have to research more.


As for finding something that helps, I actually have.  This may be TMI, but then, well, if you're suffering from it, maybe not.  When I am suffering, I think that drinking water helps quite a bit.  What helps when I have major gas and pain, though, is to lie down.  Being horizontal allows the gas to shift out of the "stuck" places and move along.  If I lie flat on my back for a few minutes, then on one side, then the other, and then repeat, I can usually reduce the total time of unpleasantness significantly.  Probably everyone is a little different on where the gas gets stuck, so everyone will be different in terms of what positions work.  I also think that down dog, up dog/seal, bridge pose, and numerous other yoga poses are great for moving gas along.  I'm pretty sure that's what they mean when they claim that yoga "helps with digestion."


ThyPeace, do it in private so you can really fart.  Because, you know, the more you get out of your body, the less pain you'll have.

Yeah, when my youngest son (the one with all the food allergies) was really suffering as a baby we saw a Baby Yoga instructor and she gave us an exercise to do with him where we lay him on his back, bent his legs & raised his knees  to his chest, then straightened them out again - then bent & straightened, bent & straightened in a smooth action like a pumping motion - he would scream in agony at first as it was obviously uncomfortable for him to bring his knees so high when he had so much abdominal pain but he'd eventually relax and he was like a steam train once we got going!!  :P 

Unfortunately I have hyper-mobility in my joints and since technically I'm still recovering from a prolapsed disc yoga poses are out for me as they only aggravate the problem  :( 

Do have a read up on FODMAPs - I think you'll be surprised at what you find.


So I must have missed why you are testing kale? Or did I misunderstand that part? I thought it was pretty safe because it's on the green list... I eat organic baby kale and/or spinach DAILY.

Much of what you are talking about with the probiotics, sauerkraut, fermented veggies, etc -- he talks about that stuff a lot in Brain Maker. Did you get to read that one, too? I hoped he was going to get more into explanations of IBS, FODMAPs, etc... But not so much. Still, a fascinating book. I've been trying to read through it again ~ with my highlighter this time.

Yes, kale is considered safe and I eat kale or spinach daily, kale mostly...

But like broccoli, kale is also a cruciferous veg which as you know can also be problematic and since the one day that I ate the two of them in separate meals was the one day that I had the MOST pain & the AWFUL gas, So now I want to try kale on it's own and pay more attention to how it makes me feel so as I can determine if the kale was in fact responsible for at least some of the discomfort, if it was the combination of the two, or if it was just a complete coincidence.

If it was the combination of the two then broccoli goes on the back burner - I could plan to only have spinach on the days I eat broccoli but that's a bit of a faff and since it's most definitely causing me some discomfort it would be easier to just cut it out.

Thanks for the link to the larger list - I have that one in the front of my recipe file beacuse I can read it without my glasses B)  I always link to Paleo Mom's one because I think she gives a good explanation of what FODMAPs are, and most people have no clue what they're dealing with when you first bring the issue to their attention.

I've yet to read Brain Maker - it's still in my basket on Amazon & even made it onto my Christmas list but to be honest I've so much reading of my own to do for my course that it's hard enough as it is to fit it all in. Some day...

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I have Hannlib. I've been using a garlic infused oil, and the green parts only of spring onions/scallions.

I'm thinking I could probably cope with one onion in a recipe as it wouldn't be that much when you break it down into portions, and yeah, I'd leave it to meal 3 too - that way I could sleep it off!

The problem with adding onion/garlic to a recipe is that once it's in it's in, and if it doesn't agree with me I'm stuck with it for the rest of the week - tough call!!  :wacko: 

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So a couple of things:

1. It never ceases to amaze/disappoint/sadden me when I see the number of cars waiting in line for the McD drive thru on a Friday evening. But a part of the reason I want to become a registered nutritionist is to educate people about REAL food, and about the evils of junk food and child obesity, so this just fuels my fight.


2. I called at the Farm shop to pick up the beef heart I'd ordered and when the guy brought it out he must have seen the look of shock on my face and asked if I'd like him to prepare it for me. This thing was HUGE - about the size of a pork shoulder joint, and big enough to completely fill my crockpot as it was so I very quickly took him up on his offer. Less than 5mins later he handed me a bag of evenly cut beef pieces - 3.5lbs worth - the equivalent in steak pieces would have cost around £18 or thereabouts. This cost me £4. Unbelievable. And it will be absolutely delicious he assures me.


3. I had a chat with my course tutor today and she was asking why I've been delaying registering for the Advanced Nutrition Course. She is aware that my goal is to be able to practice as a Nutritionist and I need this qualification in order to get the Insurance to do so. I've done basic personal nutrition, child nutrition, sports nutrition, and am currenlty doing diet & weightloss management. She said that given the grades I've been getting so far (I've lost only 1% in Sports Nutrition because I went against conventional thinking & extolled the virtues of fat as a preWO :rolleyes: ) I shouldn't delay further and she offered me the chance to enrol, TODAY, for Advanced Nutrition AND Advanced Diet & Weightloss - and to make it more appealing she substantially dropped the price of the registration. It's still a lot of money - particularly in the month following Christmas and also in the week preceding my first born's Birthday, and it's a BIG time commitment, but still, it's time.... (well, at least it will be in mid February when the next intake begins)

4. We also chatted about my friend. She agreed that letting her know via the symptoms I'd recognised in her was the way to go, and she also agreed that that was enough for now. The door has been left open for her to come to me if she wants to - and my tutor reckons she probably will, in time. We're going to chat again about things in a week or two to see if there has been any progress and she'll guide me from there if need be.

5. The kale trial is done, and I can honestly say that there was no gas. In fact if anything I think it helped things along if you catch my drift, rather than blocking everything up the way that FODMAPs tend to. So we'll see how broccoli + kales goes down - mostly likely on Sunday - before we draw finally a line in the sand.

6. Next up - cabbage - in the form of coleslaw so as to save me some prep time!

7. Study time.

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I had to give my mum a ticking off today.

As I mentioned before she's keen to increase exercise, improve her diet and trade up some body fat for lean muscle, and she's been doing great.

I called in to see her & my dad before collecting the boys and there was in the kitchen unpacking a spray can of sunflower oil - with thickeners, & soy lecithen & all sorts of nasties. I asked her what the frick she was doing using that & she told me some friend who's doing slimming world recommended it  :rolleyes: 

Well, we had words about slimming world, sunflower oil, her friend and her 'healthy' recommendations. I had to bite my tongue when my dad chirped in saying he's thinking about joining slimming world himself to lose his beer belly - eh, hello? losing the beer will lose you the beer belly!!

Anyhoo...... I left before I said anything I shouldn't and returned with a jar of coconut oil and a block of kerrygold, although my mum was still muttering under her breath and complaining when I left that I hadn't got a spray, and that all that fat isn't good for anyone.

For anyone with any doubt about coconut oil please know that is probably THE best oil to use for cooking (amongst other things). It's about 90% saturated fat and is pretty resistant to heat, it contains lauric acid (which can kill harmful bacteria & fungi), and medium chain triglycerides (which are metabolized differently by the body and can have a therapuetic effect on several brain disorders as well as increasing 24hr energy expenditure by up to 5%).

Next up would be grass fed butter (or in Whole30 terms ghee). Also 90% saturated fat ghee is a great source of vitamin A, E & K2, and is rich in the fatty acids CLA & butyrate which fight inflammation, can prevent the immune system from attacking the good gut bacteria, and may help lower body fat and improve glucose tolerance.

I'd bet good money that if I checked my mum's fridge I'd find a tub of margarine.

Don't fear the fat.


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We have WW here too - and yes, it's the same, except they have 'syns'  :rolleyes: They have a list of 'free' foods, and everything else has a 'syn' value.... Same principles, same level of failure.

My mum should know better - well, at least she does now  :P 

And my dad? He just likes beer!

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This week I'm cooking a beef heart which is something I've never done before.

I'm using >this recipe< as my guide but used ALL heart (because it was MUCH more economical), plus I subbed the onion for a shed load of greens from spring onions, and I'm slow cooking it overnight in my crock pot. Sadly I won't be eating the apricots, but they should add a good amount of flavour.

I've been trying to include a lot more organ meat lately because they are such a nutritional powerhouse. When I lived in Greece we ate a lot of organ meats from both lamb & beef - in fact there was very little of the lamb we didn't eat. It took a bit of getting used to seeing the heads on the Spits at the various Tavernas, but once you taste that tender cheek meat & the creamy, protein rich brain (yes, you read right) you very quickly get over yourself.

I've been back in Ireland a lot of years though and had gotten into a bit of a rut. I've had good success lately with making >this chicken liver pate< (although I've excluded the mushrooms of late) so I thought it was time to push the boat out a little further - I'm interested to see how it goes, but when I deglazed the pan that I'd sealed the meat in with some broth & the spices it smelled divine.

This week I'm reintroing cabbage as part of my FODMAP experiment, but next week I might just have to try onions and go down the very traditional Irish route of (paleofied) beef liver with onions and mash...  :wub: 


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Wowza. The Beef Heart Stew is AMAZING. Hot, spicy & kind of sweet, and the meat turned out really tender - definitely a keeper!!

Also on this weeks menu is Goan chicken curry - a recipe I haven't made in maybe 2yrs and I have to ask myself why, because this is also so damned good.... a whole chicken slow cooked in a little stock with cayenne, cumin & coriander, and some peppered mackerel.

Today I ate a generous portion of broccoli salad with breakfast (alongside scrambled eggs, heirloom tomatoes & mayo), and some roasted chicken with kale braised in ghee and a handful of olives - I was trying to replicate the trial earlier in the week when I had the worst of the gas/indigestion/bloat and I managed fairly well.... I've been wearing sweats most of the day so the bloat hasn't been just as noticeable or uncomfortable as it would have been had it've been mid-week and I'd been wearing business wear, but it was there nonetheless, and the gas reared it's ugly head around 5:30pm, right on schedule...

So yeah, I think it's fair to say that broccoli and I are over. In fact we are SO over we need a new word for over (SATC anyone?)

But in the words of Meatloaf I "....won't be sad, cos two out of three ain't bad...'  B) 

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So today is the day that I started my flirtation with cabbage. I'l admit it feels a little bit like a cop out given that I've tried sauerkraut already, and given that I opted for coleslaw rather than actually having to cook anything. In my defence I did cook two new dishes this week (ok one new dish and one that I haven't cooked in a very long time) so I didn't want to add much more to my food prep time, and I do prefer to eat cabbage in the form of coleslaw anyway having suffered boiled (?) cabbage once a week every week as a kid.

Green veg are powerful detoxers - they help fight free radicals and improve the immune system and so it would be good to be able to add some more green to my repetoire.

I started out this morning with peppered mackerel, heirloom tomatoes, pickled cucumbers & mayonnaise, and followed that up with a BIG ASS chicken salad with a HUGE serving of cabbage slaw in a nice creamy mayo. I felt pretty stuffed after lunch, but didn't feel bloated as such. That feeling of satiety stayed with me for a good 4.5hrs and then I felt ready for dinner (which was goan chicken curry with roasted root veg & olives). I've had a couple of things stress me out throughout the day so I'm feeling a bit 'off' but I'm contributing that to the stress and not the food, and am looking forward to some curried coleslaw with lunch tomorrow...

So considering FODMAPs are not generally my friend, considering that cruciferous veg and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship, and considering that the potential triple whammy of eating a raw cruciferous high FODMAP veg slap bang in the middle of a stressful day had no real effect I'm happy to call today a success.

Time for some Netflix & Chill....


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Yesterday was cabbage central again.

Curried cabbage coleslaw central to be precise.

And I have to say that of ALL of my food trials so far this has been the absolute best - not only in terms of flavour, but in terms of lack of symptoms - and since some of the more common curry spices (turmeric, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, fenugreek etc) have great health benefits (anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, detoxifying, blood sugar control, cholesterol management etc) I'm wondering if that maybe contributed to it's success.

Today was a 'rest day' but since it was also the first day that I remembered about the Frank's Hot Sauce I'd had delivered last week it was also a food trial day of sorts. And again, it was a success - spinach & eggs scrambled in ghee, with a generous (I somehow missed the opening part of the lid and just unscrewed the whole thing and poured  :wacko:  :o  :P ) serving of Hot sauce, alongside heirloom tomatoes and pickled cucumber with mayo. The mixture of hot & sweet & pickled was an absolute taste sensation and the perfect way to start the day having made some decisions over night about how to lighten my current work/stress load so that I can get one step ahead with my studies.

So tonight there was no gym session, and instead I've caught up with a podcast, and am about to tune into another webinar after which I'll be able to make a start on an assignment that's due in next week, and then I'll take it from there...


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Well, that was the best night's sleep I've had in a week or two. Not that my sleep has been poor, just poorer than normal. Last night's sleep quality was up by 10% and I woke feeling well & truly rested - the combination of a brain worked hard, and that feeling of less weight on my shoulders.

It's amazing how much stress effects our sleep, and in turn how much lack of sleep effects our appetite, our moods, and our hormones...

I woke up ravenous this morning and had Goan chicken curry with wilted spinach, braised kale & mayo and now I'm all set to face my day.

Everything seems so much better after a good sleep.

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I've been thinking about the whole stress thing, and it made me come to a few realisations - good ones.

This time last year had I have been in the same predicament there is NO WAY I'd have sacrificed time at the gym, I'd have told myself that the endorphins from training would keep me going and get me through. This time last year I was turning down all kinds of invites because they would eat in to my gym time. And if I DID accept a Friday night invite for instance I'd always say upfront that I might be late - and this after probably having already tried to push the plans back as late as possible. This time last year I was so focused on me (or at least I thought I was) that my friendships suffered. This time last year I thought I was in SUCH a good place. I mean my diet was really pretty good - not a whole lot different from Whole30 save for the dairy/alcohol - and I was training (& most definitely over-training)  like I thought I was a professional athlete. I was juggling work, home, gym, kids, chores, trips, more gym, socializing & more with not a second to take my eye off the balls. I was as graceful as a swan to those looking above the water, but underneath I was paddling like a mad thing just to stay afloat. Something was amiss. I just hadn't figured it out yet.

Having started the Whole30 in February of last year & having joined in with the Whole9 Life Challenge from Feb/March through to December I really started to focus on ways to improve ALL aspects of my life - not just nutrition, but also work, rest & play for starters. And looking back today on the me of last year I can really see just how far I've come. I've stopped trying to be perfect. I've stopped trying to keep all of the balls in the air. I've stopped trying to do it all myself. I've realised that if something doesn't get done nobody dies. I've started enjoying LIFE. And I continue to look at ways to enjoy and improve it further. Nowadays I take care of me, because I know if I'm suffering in any way then everything else that I put my hand to will also suffer as a consequence.

Nowadays I really AM in a good place, and with continued focus it's going to just keep getting better.

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So it's Friday again, and another week of food trials is done - and what an insightful week it has been - and I'm not talking just about the food. I've been pondering NSVs of this year throughout this week, with how I deal with stress being a HUGE indicator of how far I've come. Also, my sleep has vastly improved, my mood is stable, my body shape has changed for the better, I'm gaining strength & muscle and continuing to lose fat, my facial skin tone is much more even (I'd have classed my face as combination/sensitive), my hands no longer need moisturising five or more times a day, my hair & nails grow like wild fire, I'm focussed, I'm learning new skills, I'm making new friends, I'm pushing myself OUT of my comfort zone and beyond into the wide wide world and it feels GOOD.

Raw cabbage went WAY better than I could have expected. I was having whopping great boat loads of curried coleslaw through the week with absolutely no ill effects, and in fact I'd go so far as to say that my tummy feels the flattest it's felt in a long time - and I haven't even been to the gym. No bloat, no cramps, no constipation or diarrhea, no gas. No problem.

I'm definitely chalking this one up as a success and moving very swiftly on to onions.

Now onions are a fructan, and I really do think my problem is with polyols, however onion is one of the high FODMAP group that MANY people struggle with so I'm not expecting quite the same level of success. I used to eat raw onion in salads at least every other day, and there wasn't a single dish I cooked which didn't start out with oil, a whole chopped onion, garlic, salt & pepper - until it all went pear shaped. Talking of pears & since I'm trying to increase my consumption of organ meat I'll be pairing up my onion with liver this week, which, served with Mash, is a very traditional Irish dinner - at least this way if the first trial is an epic fail then I'm not having to scoop onions out of everything I eat for the rest of the week!  :ph34r: 

Onions are another great anti-inflammatory food, and the chromium they contain helps to regulate blood sugar. They're rich in sulphur & flavonoids (specifically quercetin which helps prevent the oxidisation of fatty acids in the body), they give protection to the cardio-vascular system, can help lower blood levels of cholesterol & triglycerides, can protect against certain cancers, and improve cell membrane function in the red blood cells. As with all fruit & veg anything red in colour is optimal for the heart health, and onions are no different - choose red onions for the highest flavonoid content, closely followed by yellow, and then white...

Onions - it could all end in tears.


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Yesterday was a bit of a family day. My eldest son had his Birthday on Friday, but seeing as how he was at his Dad's after school/overnight we had a day of celebrations yesterday - Ten Pin Bowling, followed by some ice cream from a little local store that has been making their own ice cream for over 100 years, followed by a meal out, followed by a trip to a friend's house, followed by a Movie.

Can I just say to anyone who struggles with stopping at just one ice cream my advice would be this:


1. Quality over quantity (And IMO this should apply to ALL foods - off limit or otherwise) Eat only good quality 'home-made' ice cream with no added nasties.

2. Eat the ice cream on it's own - no cone, no sprinkles, no flake, no syrups

3. Eat the ice cream before your [template] meal and not after - you are less likely to over-eat knowing that you'll soon be eating proper food, and by then eating proper food you will be satiated and less likely to have room for more ice cream. The template meal, as alway, is pretty key here!

4. Let go of the guilt and savour every mouthful.

For dinner I had the most amazing chilli burger - a home-made burger patty (sans bun) dressed with bacon, jalapenos, salsa & sour cream, and served with potato wedges drizzled in a sweet chilli sauce and with a dollop of sour cream. Please remember that whilst my food is W30 compliant almost ALL of the time that I am NOT currently doing a W30, and the off limit foods that I eat are my choice, and are guilt free. YMMV.

We were late to bed last night because of all the activities so this week's food prep has been kept simple and to a minimum today whilst I got caught up on chores - a whole chicken, some slow cooked beef, a fresh batch of braised kale, and a tray of oven roasted veg. I have a fair amount of prepped food in my freezer which I can dip into if need be plus the liver & onions I am trialling this week will be cooked to order rather than prepped up front. I also have the usual supplies of tinned fish & salad veg.

Time to watch the last episode of Making a Murderer on Netflix - If you haven't already watched it you really, really should  <_< 


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You did it your way.  


I've lived a life that's full

I've traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way
Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way
Your food testing has been very informative.   I lurve that you're enjoying life without angst and regrets. It's unrealistic to embrace the concept of never.   I tooled along for a year but you couldn't call it Whole 30.   That would be a stretch and fig newton of the imagination.
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Today has been a day of 1sts.

First off (see what I did there?) it's the first of February, and whilst my FODMAP food trials will continue through February & beyond the actual focus this month as far as Whole9 is concerned is personal growth and it is my intention to approach this from a few different angles but with the focus primarily on Study, Mental Health & Gut Health.

Education will be key for me this month as I start getting into 'proper' study. I've accepted that this will be an added stressor in my life, and will be looking at ways of reducing my stress/workload elsewhere so that I can continue to enjoy the process & not feel overwhelmed by the whole thing - this is an area I've been working on a lot over the past year, and having seen improvements in the overall quality of my life I will continue to assess & tweak as I go.

Secondly, having talked at length with my tutor about my FODMAP issues, and having been of the opinion for many years that FOOD is our medicine I am going to start putting my money where my mouth is, adopting this in a more literal manner, and start making fermented vegetables. My tutor has offered to email me a few tried & tested recipes, and while I buy supplies & get things going I'm going to try another first for me..... Kombucha.

So today I tried my first ever Kombucha and actually it was pretty good - I opted for a Red Pu Ech by Go! Kombucha and managed to find it at really reasonable cost compared to some I've seen so I may have to order another bottle or two until my veg is good to go. It's Whole30 compliant, but I have to say that for someone doing a Whole30 for the first time I'd wonder if it wouldn't keep the cravings alive as it was much sweeter than I thought it would be considering it was described as bold & earthy.

Today was the first day of my onion trial, and also the first day in as long as I can remember that I ate liver as liver rather than as pate. I've always enjoyed cooking liver, but I've always been put off by the smell so I had a cunning plan.... I flashed fried the liver in one pan while frying a thinly sliced whole red onion with salt, freshly ground black pepper & ground cumin - all of which masked the smell of the liver rather nicely. I served it up with a few small baby boiled potatoes - skins on - and a dollop of mayo, and oh my...... it was really good. Roughly two hours later and so far so good - no bloat, no heart burn, no digestive distress, wind, gas, or anything else to speak of - success on a plate, and cheap as chips!!

In a slightly unrelated first my first born received his Chess League rating today. He's been the under 16 Ulster Schools Chess Champion for the past two years (he turned 14 on Friday), and started playing in this local league about 6mths ago. His school chess successes don't count in the league though and so he had to start out as 4th board in the team of four in which he plays. His team have been wiping the floor with University Graduates and the like of late though and their hard work has obviously payed off as they have moved up the ranks, with my son today being promoted to 1st board on his team - one small step closer to Grand Master!

A good first of the month all round.


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