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Friday, August 30, 2013

So Far, I. Love. San Francisco.

So far, I. Love. San Francisco.  Everybody knows it’s a beautiful city surrounded by some of the most spectacular landscapes in America.  But that’s just one layer.  I could (and have) walk around my neighborhood, The Mission District, for hours.  Here are some things I love:

1. All the alleyways, and half of the buildings, are covered by colorful murals, painted by every kind of street artist.  Some murals tell stories, some are political statements, some are just beautiful graffiti.  This street art is celebrated here, rather than reviled.  Check out pix of Clarion Alley: 

2. Being gluten-free, dairy-free is not a pain in the ass, and in fact every single restaurant has amazing options for high-maintenance eaters like myself.  And a lot of the restaurants use free-range meats, organic produce, all that hippie stuff.  Num-num-num.

3. Lots of pink hair, green lipstick, and weird beards.  Yes, please.

4. SUN!  Everybody who says SF is all fog all the time can suck it.  Well, maybe that’s true of some parts of the city, but not MY hood.  I’m in the Sun Belt and it has been sunny and 75 degrees every day since I arrived.  Uh-huh.

5. Vintage mid-century and shabby chic reclaimed furniture everywhere.  Love it, yes, yes, yes.

6. There are impossibly hip bars with reasonably-priced perfectly-mixed cocktails, where the average age of the patrons is 30-something.  Whatttt.  My favorite so far is Royal Cuckoo: 

7. The people are SO FRIENDLY.  Everywhere we go – random bars, grocery stores, furniture stores – people seem genuinely excited that we’ve moved to town.   At Trader Joe’s, our check-out guy rang the bell to announce to everyone that they had new neighbors.  Everyone wants to recommend good restaurants. 

8. International record stores. Weird art galleries.  Food trucks.  Street fairs.  Cerebral book store events.  GAHHH. 

Why doesn’t everyone move here?  Oh yeah, it’s because we all spend like 50% of our salaries on rent, so we can only afford to buy our clothes in thrift stores.  I wonder if, two years from now, I’ll be annoyed by the uber-hip-eco-braininess of this area.  But for now it’s like a wonderland of Yes Please.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What to eat on low-FODMAP diet: breakfast/lunch/snacks/dinner/alcohol!

Since peeps seem to be frequenting my posts about what to eat on low-FODMAP diet, I’ve combined all my recommendations for breakfast/lunch/snacks/alcohol into one post.  And as always, the comprehensive list of low-FODMAP foods can be found here:

What to eat on low-FODMAP diet: Breakfast

1. My FAVORITE FAVORITE breakfast: sweet potato porridge with berries in it. I literally make this every single day:

2. Rice cereal with rice/almond milk.  This is just about the mildest thing for my particular stomach.  Never gives me ANY stomach pain.  I put blueberries and flax seed on my cereal, but you could start by JUST having the cereal and rice milk, and then see if you can add to that.

3. Eggs.  Never give me a problem, but let me know if you find otherwise.

4. Gluten-free, dairy-free bread.  With Earth Balance (dairy-free) and jam. 

5. Turkey bacon or other lean meats.  Usually, fatty meats are harder for IBS-sufferers to digest, but turkey bacon should be fine.  Some people can also do lean ham with no problems. 

6.  Oatmeal?  Lately, since I’ve gotten my stomach a little more in balance, I can tolerate oatmeal although it used to give me stomach pain.  Oatmeal has a lot of fiber in it, so it’s hard for some IBS sufferers.  Maybe just try a little bit of gluten-free oatmeal to see how it goes for you. 

7. Fruit.  For a list of low-FODMAP fruits, see my comprehensive list:

What to eat on low-FODMAP diet: Lunch

Hi people!  You look cute today.  I have no idea who’s reading this blog, but my food posts are getting a lotta hits, so here’s another.  Here are some more ideas about what to eat on a low-FODMAP diet.  For those of you who don’t know wtf FODMAPs are, they’re basically evil sugars that hurt people with IBS, and if you cut them out/down, you will be much happier (see previous posts).  Some people get confused about what to eat when they cut out gluten AND dairy AND soy AND blah blah blah.  So, WHAT TO EAT, Installment Number Two: LUNCH.   

1. Sandwiches with Udi bread!  Udi Bread is by far the best gluten-free bread.  It tastes like bread, feels like bread, looks like bread.  I am a big fan of turkey sandwiches with spinach and tomatoes and mustard.  But you can put any low-FODMAP foods on your sandwiches.  For the full list of foods that won’t hurt you:

2. Peanut butter!  I eat my weight in peanut butter and I have no problems with it, although I hear that for some people it’s a trigger.  So you’ll have to see if it works for you.  I put peanut butter on bread, and in smoothies, but you can also put it on gluten-free crackers. 

3. I eat lots of chicken tacos.  Or any kind of tacos, really, as long as they don’t have beans and cheese.  You can pump them full of tomatoes, rice, potatoes, of whatever else from that list.

4.  Salad, of course, with anything from the list. 

5.  We all need some junk food with lunch sometimes, so I recommend low-fat potato chips, in small quantities.  High-fat foods are IBS triggers, but I can usually have a few chips without too much problem.

6. Speaking of my need to have junk food with lunch, I’m usually ok with a little (but only a little) dairy-free dark chocolate. 

Things I do NOT eat anymore for lunch:

1. Hummus.  I. Love. Hummus.  But it kills my stomach.  So sad.

2. No bread or gluten-y crackers.  At all!  And I feel SO much better. 

3. Obviously no dairy, but if you’re reading this, you probably already cut that out. 

4. No onions or garlic.  They are some of the worst for me!  And probably for you.

What To Drink (in an adult way) on a Low-FODMAP Diet: ALCOHOL

I love me a good happy hour.  Sadly, though, my tum doesn’t do a good job with beer or super-sweet drinks like wine (and I do LOVE wine).  But if you’re like me, I have stupendous news for you: happy hour need not be put into the food graveyard with bread and cheese.  Here are some adult beverages that are easier for me (and hopefully you?) to drink:

1. Vodka-seltzer-lime is my bestie.  We hang out often at 6PM.  Vodka is very low-calorie, seltzer (or soda) has no sugar, and lime has only a teency bit of sugar.  The clear liquors are much easier to digest than sweet drinks like wine or rum, so go at it. 

2. Whiskey!  My second-favorite happy hour drink is also fine for me.  Particularly if I don’t mix it with soda (which has high-FODMAP sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners).

3. If you DO try beer, make sure you get gluten-free beer!  It’s much easier to find these days, since half the population of the Earth is as annoying as I am in terms of food intolerances. 

4. If you gotta drink wine, GO DRY.  I love white wine as much as I love sunshine, so sometimes I still go for a glass of dry New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s just too good to give up forever.

5. Gin might also be fine for you, especially in small doses, but who would want to drink gin anyway?  Blech. 

For dinner, just consult the comprehensive list and substitute low-FODMAP ingredients (like green beans, or polenta) for high-FODMAP ingredients (like broccoli, or bread).  Here are a couple of fantastic recipes, and I’ll post more:

My favorite favorite party recipe – polenta and shrimp with morel mushroom vinaitgrette, yummm: