Christmas · FODMAP

13th December

People keep asking me if I am ready for Christmas. Do they ask me because they are and they want me to feel bad, or do they ask me because they aren’t and they want to check it is ok? Trust me, it is ok not to be ready for Christmas. This time of year is so busy we need to make sure we take care of ourselves. This advent calendar is a simple way to remind us to eat a variety of vegetables as part of a balanced diet. Amidst the treats, we need to make sure our bodies get the nutrients they really need.

Today we are sticking with the seasonal vegetables but a less popular vegetable than yesterday’s. This one sometimes gets put in the sprouts category of ‘must have for Christmas because it is tradition but I don’t really like it’.

advent calendar 13th


Parsnips contain fibre, vitamin C, folate and manganese and are a great addition to the vegetables we usually have on our plate. Although this recipe grates the parsnip so you lose some of the nutrients, it still gives us some of the essential nutrients it has on offer. Today’s recipe is even FODMAP friendly and is from the FODMAP Foodie website (I don’t endorse the website but think this recipe is yummy).

Chef · Diet · FODMAP · Healthy Eating · Uncategorized

FODMAP friendly egg fried rice

Here is another recipe for those on the FODMAP diet. Quick and easy. Ready in 20 minutes. I would love to know what you think of it.

FODMAP friendly egg fried rice

Serves 3-4 people


250g basmati rice

1 head of pak choi, cut into chunks

1 red pepper, diced

200g frozen peas

8 eggs, broken into a bowl but not whisked

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp chives

2 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cinnamon

Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Gluten free soy sauce to taste


Cook the rice in boiling water and strain. Take care not to overcook

Meanwhile stir fry the red pepper with the ginger powder, chives, cinnamon and black pepper for 3 minutes. Add the eggs and cook for a further 2 minutes without stiring. Add the pak choi and peas and stir (this breaks up the eggs).  Cook until the eggs are dried out and no longer sloppy. Add the sesame oil and fry for a further minute. Add the rice and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes stirring frequently until heated through. Add the soy sauce to taste.

Serve immediately.

If you are going to reheat, make sure it is in the fridge within 90 minutes of cooking and that you reheat thoroughly. You will lose the texture of the vegetables in reheating so I would not recommend it.

FODMAP · Recipes

FODMAP friendly chicken curry

1 aubergine

500g pack of skinless and boneless chicken thighs (cut into bite size pieces)

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp garam masala (with no onion or garlic)

1 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

black pepper

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Wash and prick the aubergine and cook in the microwave on full power for about 10 minutes until soft. Set aside to cool. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the spices (the quantities are personal preference so feel free to experiment). Fry for 30 seconds or until the mustard seeds begin to spit. Add the chicken thighs and stir until they are coated in the spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir every couple of minutes. Meanwhile cut the aubergine into small pieces, including the skin, and add to the chicken. Then add the tomatoes and half a can of water, cover and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

You can adapt this recipe by adding some spinach (either frozen leaf spinach or fresh spinach) or okra.

Serve with basmati rice.

FODMAP · Uncategorized

Living on the FODMAP diet

The FODMAP diet is a diet which can reduce the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). FODMAP stands for:

Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) – eg in Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Garlic (in large amounts), Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Spring Onion (white part), Shallots, Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Barley (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides. and GOS found in Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas)
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose – eg in Milk, icecream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yoghurt, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone))
Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose – eg in Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup)
Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt – eg in Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), maltitol (965) and isomalt (953).


Living on this diet has been a challenge for the last 4 months. This is a diet which should only be undertaken under the supervision of a dietitian.

I did not need to lose weight so I needed to make sure I was getting enough food, and because of a family history of osteoporosis, I needed to be careful I got enough calcium too. Meal ideas on lots of websites were just not enough to sustain.

Here are a few meal ideas:

Shepherd’s pie – use a little gluten free soy sauce instead of the Worcester sauce, and grate parsnip and carrots into the mixture instead of using onion.

Spaghetti bolognese – prick and cook a whole aubergine in the microwave for about 12 minutes, then cut up (including the skin) and add this to cooked mince with tomatoes, grated carrot and courgette, lots of herbs and black pepper (and some red wine if you want).

Polenta pizza. I found it best to cook the base first. This meal is very time consuming!

Aubergine curry – prick and cook a whole aubergine in the microwave for 12 minutes. In a glug of oil fry spices (garam masala, mustard seed, cumin seed, coriander seed, ground ginger – lots of whatever you have), add the cooked aubergine, a tin of chopped tomatoes (and some frozen spinach if you like). Cook for about 20 minutes making sure it doesn’t dry out.

Egg fried rice – cook a packet of microwave rice or regular rice. Meanwhile, put 2 eggs in a pan with a little oil. Cook for a minute or so and then break up. Add a handful of peas or some pak choi or courgette and cook for another minute or so. Add the rice and heat through. You can fry cinnamon, ginger, chilli before you put the eggs in and add soy sauce at the end for extra flavour.

If you have any other meal ideas which don’t cost the earth. Let me know!