The low FODMAP way around your Christmas meal
Christmas festivities can be a real pain when you suffer from food allergies or intolerance.
I’ve realised that last year, when I went to Italy to visit my family for Christmas. The majority of the food that my sisters prepared was unsuitable for me and it was hard not being able to eat their delicious Italian SUPER HIGH FODMAP cooking. Sure they all tried to make something that I could eat, but it wasn’t the same yummy Christmas menu and considering that I was still very new to the low FODMAP diet, I wasn’t really able to give them all the directions on suitable replacements.
A traditional Christmas meal, in Italy like in Australia, the UK or the US will have high FODMAP food throughout each dish, making it unsuitable for IBS sufferers.
It doesn’t have to be this way, with a bit of care and preparation almost every traditional Christmas dish can be transformed into a low FODMAP one.
As an example, the traditional stuffed Christmas turkey can be stuffed using gluten-free, low FODMAP bread or quinoa or rice or a combination, onion and garlic can be replaced by infused garlic and infused onion oil, these oils give the nice taste and aroma to any dish without the bloating side effects.
The very indulgent low FODMAP chocolate Christmas pudding, made with a mixture of gluten-free flour and almond flour, will not be forgotten even long after your Christmas banquet is finished.
There are alternative options for starters and also for side dishes and they can follow the traditional Christmas recipes and they can still taste amazing.
There are simple adjustments that can be done to normal recipes and the good thing is that nobody is going to realise that these dishes are also low FODMAP, everybody will be able to eat the same food you do and it will taste good.
So, what happens if you are not the host, and instead you have been invited at someone else’s house for Christmas? I can understand that if the host is not a close family member or a friend you may not feel comfortable in revealing your IBS problem, even though, believe me, most people will be understanding and supporting. I don’t feel ashamed having IBS, at the end it is not something I want or have brought to myself.
Surely you could bring a couple of suitable dishes yourself, but that is going to be still quite limiting, or you could consume the high FODMAP food that has been prepared and think about the consequences later (I don’t really think it is worth it).
Personally I would talk to those who are in charge of preparing the main dish, let’s say the stuffed turkey or the stuffed chicken and give them a replacement for the stuffing.
Let’s say that your worst intolerance is wheat, garlic and onion, ask them to use gluten-free bread and use garlic and onion infused oil, instead of the real thing. Offer to provide them with the extra ingredients, teach them what you can eat, show them the list of FODMAP food. If these people are your family and friends they will surely want to help you to have a good Christmas.
I will be the host of my Christmas party, so no issues for me this year 😉 .
Don’t worry too much and don’t stress out (which makes IBS symptoms worse), eat what it is safe for you, if you are worried about not being able to eat any of the food that has been prepared, have a low FODMAP small meal beforehand, at least you won’t be arriving already starving.
If you don’t have the Monash University low FODMAP app for smartphones, feel free to download the FODMAP food list, from here.
Also if you are lacking the time to look into the substitution of high FODMAP ingredients, for your low FODMAP Christmas recipes and would like to follow a ready-made menu, I am pleased to inform you that I have spent a few weeks creating low FODMAP Christmas recipes, which are deliciously tasty and that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
I have never been into cooking that much, but I am slowly discovering a new interest, as I love food and I can’t easily find suitable one.
I will keep on creating more recipes, so that those who are new to the low FODMAP diet, are not stuck for ideas.
I will leave you now with my best wishes for a very merry Christmas and a prosperous, happy and healthier New Year.
Take good care,