Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Low FODMAP Festival Survival Guide

Hi Fodmappers

Hope you've got your wellies ready? It's festival time! And you know what that means? Food, drink and festival loos! I know that sounds like a Fodmapper's nightmare but don't panic! A little planning will get you a long way. And with that in mind, here's my ...

Low FODMAP Festival Survival Guide

First choose your Festival

If you have tickets for Glastonbury this weekend then it's probably too late to talk to you about choosing your festival. But for those of you who haven't - this is where a successful festival experience starts! Choosing the festival that's right for you can mean you have an event to look forward to, rather than one you'll dread. This is important, not only because you want to enjoy yourself, but because many people find their IBS is triggered by stress. If the mere thought of a huge festival and thousands of people worries you, then that's not the event for you. Luckily, there are plenty of festivals out there (from rock, jazz, folk, medieval festivals, literary and food festivals - to name but a few) so you're not short of options. So start by choosing one that you will enjoy.

Location, location, location.

When you're thinking about your event, you might also want to think about the location. Big events in far off places are all well and good when you're feeling well. But when you're not, do you really want to be stuck miles from home in a muddy field? Only you know how well controlled (or not) your symptoms are, and how ready you are for the festival loo experience. (We get to that a bit more in a minute). If you're not feeling great (yet) you may want to look for an event happening near to home. You'll be able to relax knowing that you can easily nip off if you do need to beat a hasty retreat.


Once you've decided on your event you might want to start thinking about what you're going to eat. Festivals can be great places to discover new foods and it's likely that there will at least be gluten free and vegetarian options available, but they may not be completely FODMAP friendly. Be prepared to ask whether the food contains onions, garlic, soya etc. This is where food festivals come into their own. The sellers take pride in knowing about the ingredients and in talking to you about the different food on offer. Don't worry about being seen as a fussy eater. At a food festival everyone is a fussy eater. That's kind of the point.

Of course if you're camping you can take a stove, some pans and all the ingredients you'd use at home. You could even make cooking for your friends part of your festival experience. Be sure to remember to pack some wheat free cereals and a carton of long-life lactose free milk for breakfasts.  Rice cakes, peanut butter and bananas are another great festival stand by.

If you're just going for the day, why not take a picnic? Make some gluten-free sandwiches to take with you. Cucumber sarnies with the crusts cut off are so British, and so summery. A tub of salad, some carrot sticks to nibble on, nuts, plain crisps and a selection of cheeses should keep even the hungriest Festival goers happy. Or take a mini barbecue and rustle up some vegetable kebabs and grilled halloumi. Yum!


Let's face it, festivals are a chance to let your hair down and most people like to enjoy a drink or two (or more) as part of the event. Unfortunately alcohol is a gut irritant and can trigger symptoms for a lot of people. But this doesn't mean you have to avoid alcohol altogether. One glass of wine or one can of beer should be OK - especially if consumed with food.

You should also be aware that coffee, strong tea and certain fruit juices can also trigger symptoms so make sure you have a bottle of water to hand.

Festival Toilets

This has got to be the one thing that makes even the most hardened festival-goer cringe. Festival loos are never the most pleasant (I pity the people who have to clean them) but for Fodmappers they have to be the scariest thing about a Festival. If it's not the long queues then it's the inevitable lack of toilet paper when you get there. But I'm sure you don't need me to remind you to pop some toilet paper into your bag. That's just a normal day out, right?

But if you're going to Glastonbury, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. They now have a range of different loos including provision for people with disabilities. In fact, they are so proud of them that the loos even get their own page on the Glastonbury Festival website. Who would have guessed?

As for the queue, you may just have to forego etiquette and nip to the front. Needs must.

And Finally

Remember that a festival is a great opportunity to meet up with friends, enjoy some fantastic entertainment and most of all, have some fun. So relax (remember that bit about stress?) and have a great time.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay fabulous!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ice Cold and Elegant - Introducing Faloudeh

Hi again Fodmappers

Well it's another glorious day here and the garden is alive with bees and butterflies and the hum of distant lawn mowers. I really need to be cutting the lawn too but I just have to share my latest discovery with you first.

Today's recipe comes from an ancient city of 'poets, gardens, wine, nightingales and flowers' where it has been enjoyed for over 2000yrs. Elegant and sophisticated, it's reminiscent of Sherbet and Turkish Delight crossed with a Slush Puppy. It's light and refreshing and the perfect summer treat.

Faloudeh (or Faloodeh) is one of the oldest cold desserts in the world - though I admit I only discovered it recently. (Thanks The Simple Things.) Originating from Shiraz in around 400BC it combines rosewater and lime or lemon juice with sugar syrup and noodles to create a dish which is as exquisite as it sounds.

What's more, it's easy to make, it's suitable for vegans and, of course, it's low FODMAP. And if you're having friends round to dinner, this is going to impress!


Serves 4


1/2 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon of rosewater
Juice of half a lemon
1 block (approx 50g) of rice vermicelli noodles

Optional - Squeeze of lime juice, slice of lemon or freshly picked mint garnish.


Add the sugar and water to a pan and heat until dissolved.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add the rosewater and lemon juice and stir.
Pour into a large tub with a lid and pop into the freezer.

Place rice noodles in a pan and add boiling water.
Allow to stand for slightly longer than the instructions suggest as they need to be soft.
Rinse in ice cold water until cool.
Add to the sugar syrup solution and stir.
Return tub to freezer.

After approximately 1 hr remove the tub from freezer and fluff contents with a fork to break up any ice crystals which are forming.
Return to freezer and repeat twice more at half-hourly intervals.
Allow to freeze for at least 2 hrs.

Serve ice-cold in a glass topped with a slice of lemon, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprig of mint. And maybe a little Persian poetry?

I'm already looking forward to relaxing in the garden with a glass of Faloudeh in my hand. (I have some in the freezer right now). And with that in mind, I'd better get out there and mow the lawn.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay fabulous.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

How To Make Tasty Wheat-Free Pasta In Minutes

Hi Fodmappers

I hope you're well and enjoying some sunshine wherever you are? It's been a funny few weeks here but it does seem like summer is finally on it's way. And with summer comes salad!

I love salads (I've never understood why some people find them boring?) and earlier this year I treated myself to a spiralizer so that this summer's salads can be even more fun! So today I've been making zoodles!

For those of you who haven't discovered zoodles yet, they are simply courgette/zucchini pasta. (You can't get a lot more 'wheat-free' than that). They are known as zoodles because zucchini + noodles = zoodles. But if you don't have a spiralizer - don't panic! A vegetable peeler will do the trick.

I also made a yummy vegan low FODMAP pesto, because pasta and pesto are made for each other.

This was my first foray into the land of nutritional yeast. I'd never fancied it (you have to admit it doesn't sound appealing) but it's actually very good. It's light and cheesey and, I'm glad to say, not at all yeasty. The finished pesto is fresh and full of flavour. A real 'deli' pesto without the price tag.

So here's how to make a tasty wheat-free pasta and vegan pesto in minutes. Perfect for those summer evenings or for popping into your picnic basket.

Wheat Free Pasta and Low FODMAP Vegan Pesto

Serves 2.

You will need

1 courgette/zucchini
5 brazil nuts
5 walnuts
A good handful of basil
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
(Non vegans could replace the nutritional yeast with cheese)
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Pinch of salt.


Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, cut the courgette into ribbons. Set aside in a bowl.

Put the nuts, herbs and nutritional yeast into a mini chopper or food processor and pulse. Add the vegetable oil and salt.

Stir the pesto through the courgette ribbons and serve.

It's really that easy, that quick and and that summery!

And if you happen to be curious about the little flowers in the picture, they are basil flowers and they are fantastic! Too pretty and too tasty not to use.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous.