The past 5 years have involved more dietary changes than I can count to try and get my digestive system happy again. I’ve eaten dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free. I’ve followed a Candida diet, vegan diet, SCD diet, and FODMAPs diet. It’s been a challenge but I’ve most definitely benefited.
FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. The FODMAP diet eliminates these 3 types of carbohydrates and polyols (a sugar alcohol) from the diet. These molecules are easily fermentable and poorly absorbed in the gut, and thus have been linked to multiple symptoms seen in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). If you want to learn more, this article published in Alive magazine provides a good summary.
Along the way I’ve struggled with the concept of labelling my diet. The labels we stamp on diets put restrictions on our bodies and pressure on our minds. Much anxiety can stem from trying not to break the “rules”. My belief (and I should clarify, this whole post is solely a personal opinion) is that to achieve optimal digestive health we need to become aware of, and listen to what our bodies are telling us. Instead of thinking of that mid-morning bloat and those lunchtime pains as annoyances, pull out your pen and take note of the foods that are giving you these helpful signs.
To some this post may sound hypocritical, as I personally have followed very restrictive diets. And being in the healthcare field I do know that for some people these diets offer amazing health benefits. Really, my challenge to you is to ponder what it is that you are eating and what items you are not. Do you have a reason for these choices? There’s no diet that is perfect for everyone. Pay attention to your food choices. Pay attention to your body. Everything in moderation. Enjoy what you are eating and be happy with the choices that you make.
While re-introducing foods I had cut out in one of my diets this year I found my body didn’t seem to like was oats (didn’t matter if they were gluten free or not). This presented a problem to an oatmeal and granola fiend like me. The inspiration for this recipe came from this problem, and I’d say it’s a pretty tasty fix.
(OR enough for at least 2 weeks – unless you snack on it liberally like me…)
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 3/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp unsulphured molasses
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the first 5 ingredients
2. Add all remaining dry ingredients (ie. nuts, seeds, dried fruit, spices).
3. Melt coconut oil (15 seconds in the microwave should do it) and it and the molasses and maple syrup to the dry ingredients.
4. Stir it all up really good!
5. Spread mix onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
6. Bake at 250ºF for 60min. Check every 30min or so to make sure the nuts aren’t browning too quickly. If this is the case you can turn the oven temp down to 225ºF. Don’t mix it up or you’ll lose all your bunches!
7. Let the granola cool on the baking sheet and then transfer to an airtight container.