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If you want your belly to stop grumbling, try cutting out wheat for a while.

If you want your belly to stop grumbling, try cutting out wheat.

 

I love bread! Not white bread, proper brown whole wheat bread.

And I love muesli! Not the sugar loaded clusters, but the proper bran flakes type.

And I love couscous and pasta! Or at least the sauce for it… 😉

 

All of these however contain wheat. And thus need to be cut out during the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.

 

Finding alternatives to wheat is quite simple if you switch to the usual replacements: rice, corn, oats.

But I already eat brown rice as a staple with my lunch or dinner.

And I already snack on corn chips and corn flakes – watch out that they’re indeed wheat free and preferably non-GMO by the way.

And I already enjoy my porridge every day.

 

So I don’t want to just add more of the same staple I’m already eating in order to replace wheat. If I want to get through this FODMAP diet I need a bit more variety.

A great opportunity to try out some new, more exotic, and supposedly super, foods:

 

Sorghum and quinoa taste great as couscous and pasta substitute.

Buckwheat and amaranth make for a great breakfast cereal, and millet can be cooked into a delicious gruel.

As for bread, well, being German I can tell you that from steam bread to crisp bread, from spelt to rye, from potato to carrot to beer bread, everything is possible. Find a great bakery or supplier of wholesome flour and bake it yourself.
Or be creative and swap bread for a different ingredient altogether: How about a saladwich?

 

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Calcium is an important mineral for the human body, as it helps maintain healthy teeth and bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Calcium is an important mineral for the human body, as it helps maintain healthy teeth and bones and prevent osteoporosis.

 

When I came to South Africa, I couldn’t find acceptable yoghurt at first, as most supermarket yoghurts are loaded with preservatives and emulsifiers.

So I didn’t eat yoghurt for a while, because I boycott products with additives. As a result, my fingernails started to break. Thank goodness I found Amasi.

However, as I have IBS, it’s part of the low FODMAP diet to cut out dairy for a while.

In order to keep my fingernails, I did some research on:

 

How to Get Enough Calcium Without Dairy

The total recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1000 mg.

 

Eggs

One large egg provides 28 mg of calcium, 2.6% of the Daily Reference Value (DRV). But more importantly, eggs are a good source of vitamin D and when fortified maybe the only source of vitamin D we need.

Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium, without enough vitamin D, the calcium you eat won’t have any beneficial effect.

 

Leafy greens

“If your lactose intolerance is severe and you need to avoid all dairy foods, you can get plenty of calcium from leafy green vegetables,” suggests Barto. Vegetables high in calcium include rhubarb, spinach, broccoli, and certain greens like kale. For example, one cup of cooked spinach has about 250 mg of calcium.

 

Beans

Beans are a fantastic source of calcium in plant-based diets.

Especially Soybeans are high in calcium with 175 mg per cup. Accordingly tofu is generally regarded as a high calcium food.

 

Fish

The amount of calcium in milk is 125 per 100 g. As calcium percentage of the RDA this is 13%. Comparing with Fish, caviar, black and red, granular, in 100 g it contains 275 mg of calcium. As a percentage of the RDA this is 28%.

Sardines do not only contain high amounts of calcium (383 mg per 100 g, that’s 38% DRV) and vitamin D, they are also less contaminated with mercury than other fish.

 

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds and brazil nuts contain about 100 mg of calcium per serving and are recommended snacks for people on low carb diets.

Just a tablespoon of sesame seeds delivers 88 tasty mg of calcium and an ounce of chia seeds has 179 mg of calcium.

 

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Wheatgrass Smoothie: It tastes as green as it looks!

#Wheatgrass #Smoothie: It tastes as green as it looks!

 

Wheatgrass is actually pretty indigestible for humans. Hence the juicing which should remove all the cellulose. But still, its grassy taste is overpowering.

Preparing wheatgrass is a nightmare if you don’t have a juicer, as you’ll have to strain it through a cheesecloth.

I’m a practical cook, and have no patience for these complicated procedures.

So here a recipe that does not require straining, and results subsequently in a real thick smoothie. 😮

 

#Recipe: Wheatgrass Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

1 portion of wheatgrass

1 chunk of peeled ginger, dice-sized or according to taste

1 peeled & pitted lemon

2 peeled & pitted oranges

1 spoon of honey, if you’ve got a sweet tooth

1 dash of cinnamon, if you want to add a bit of spice

 

Throw all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 

The ginger alone gives this smoothie a fibrous texture. Together with the cellulose loaden wheatgrass and the pulp of the citrus fruits you might be tempted to chew a little on this one. 😉

 

Bonus Tip: Put the wheatgrass first into the blender, as it’s so flimsy it’ll take ages to stuff it down so it mixes in. Putting the lemon and oranges on top of the wheatgrass will weigh it down.

 

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Easy to make: Use big salad leaves instead of bread for a wheat free alternative to sandwiches.

Easy to make: Use big salad leaves instead of bread for a wheat free alternative to sandwiches.

 

Doing the low FODMAP diet, I have to avoid a lot of carbs. It helps with my IBS.

Breadwise this can get tricky, as wheat is out of the question, spelt is questionable, and also rye is not allowed.

A good idea is to bake your own bread. Or, to come up with some creative alternatives:

 

Make a Saladwich!

Simply swap the bread for salad leaves!

 

I love snackwiches, I dig the molten cheese. Mostly I use too much of it, and it melts and messes everywhere.

The salad leaves capture everything perfectly in a practical pocket, and it tastes good!

Usually we’re not used to cooking salad, but it has a lovely flavour when fried. The water in the leaves means it won’t burn, the water simply steams off and leaves the leaves nice and crispy.

So tuck in for a guilt-free and just as satisfying saladwich! 🙂

 

It works! Simply replace bread with salad leaves and you get a yummy healthy low-carb snackwich.

It works! Simply replace bread with salad leaves and you get a yummy healthy low-carb snackwich.

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Trying and testing: An easy way to prepare homemade coconut milk.

Trying and testing: An easy way to prepare homemade coconut milk.

 

When I saw the list of ingredients on canned coconut milk I was shocked!

While coconut milk is hailed as superfood, this type of highly processed preservation is not healthy.

 

But coconut milk is a great alternative to lactose milk, so what to do?

 

It’s super easy to make coconut milk yourself

All you need is desiccated coconut, a blender, and a strainer.

1) Soak the desiccated coconut in lukewarm water at a ratio of 1 to 3 for at least 4 hours.

2) Blend the soaked desiccated coconut and water for at least 5 minutes at highest speed.

3) Pour into a strainer to filter out the remaining coconut flakes.

4) Keep in the fridge for freshness, and to separate the coconut cream from the coconut milk.

 

Bonus Tip:

It is generally recommended to strain the coconut milk with a cheesecloth.

Just as well works a coffee plunger: Simply pour the coconut blend into the cafetière and slowly push down the plunger to capture the coconut pulp at the bottom.

If you don’t mind the odd coconut flake, this makes the whole process much easier. 🙂

 

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Always check the label! Canned coconut milk has a lot of bad stuff in it, better not buy it.

Always check the label! Canned coconut milk has a lot of bad stuff in it, better not buy it.

 

Now that I’ve determined coconut milk to be my preferred alternative to lactose milk during my Low FODMAP diet, I’m facing the next obstacle: Where to buy it?

A check on the ingredients list has ruled out canned coconut milk completely: Simply shocking what is being added to the coconut milk, really such a shame to spoil a good product this way.

Healthy coconut milk, which contains just that, is very difficult to come by. But 100% coconut milk does exist, so it might be a matter of requesting your supermarket to stock better quality foods.

However, even if you find pure coconut milk in your store, if it’s in a can, chances are the tin is lined with BPA. And even if it’s BPA-free, it’s probably still not healthy.

So best is really to avoid canned coconut milk all together and either buy it in a carton box or make your own.

 

Homemade coconut milk is really easy! Watch this space for simple how to instructions coming up. 🙂

 

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Yum! I love drinking milk.

Yum! I love drinking milk.

 

I love my coffee and tea in the morning. Yes, often I have my coffee with my tea, like drinking double-handed. But one thing that can really spoil the delight of my hot beverage is: If there’s no milk.

 

Now that I’m trying the Low FODMAP diet to relieve my IBS, I’m not allowed lactose.

 

What is a good alternative to milk?

 

Lactose-free milk

Of course there’s lactose-free milk, which has all the benefits of regular milk, just that the lactose has been pre-digested into glucose and galactose by adding the enzyme lactase to milk. It might unfortunately be difficult to come by or more expensive than normal milk, and it is not vegan.

 

Soy milk

Unfortunately with all the GMO and unwanted additives, Soya milk is to be considered carefully and is not an alternative for me.

 

Hemp milk

Hemp seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, but don’t provide enough calcium. I have no clue where to buy this, please comment on this blog post if you have more info.

 

Rice milk

Rice milk is high in carbohydrates, and doesn’t contain lactose or cholesterol.  As I’m already eating a lot of rice, I’ve decided against also drinking it for breakfast.

 

Almond milk

Almond milk offers not as much calcium as cow’s milk, but with 30% of the recommended daily amount, as well as 25% of the recommended amount of vitamin D, and a low carbohydrate content it’s a healthy alternative. Avoid any almond milk that contains Carrageenan.

 

Coconut milk

Coconut milk has a high proportion of medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fatty acids that is metabolism boosting and thus increases the energy expenditure. This helps to fill up and curb overeating or snacking throughout the day. It provides enough iron to prevent anemia. Coconut milk nourishes the digestive lining with its electrolytes and healthy fats, improving gut health and reducing IBS.

Therefore, my preferred choice of milk alternative for the Low FODMAP diet.

 

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Michael Ventura

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