The Calm Belly Cookbook by Cecilie Hauge Ågotones
Did you know that IBS is the world’s most common gut disorder, affecting around 15% of the population but currently only around 30% of sufferers actually know they have it or seek help? Well I didn’t however I have noticed that people are starting to be more open about admitting that there are certain foods that do not agree with their guts. Maybe we are all starting to be more aware of what we put inside our bodies.
Do you know what a low FODMAP diet is? Again I did not but have learnt that FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and that FODMAP restriction has been found to improve symptom control in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gastro-intestinal disorders. These undigested carbohydrates arrive in the large intestine, they absorb fluid and cause fermentation. This fermentation creates problems with gas formation, bloating, diarrhoea, and/or constipation. This occurs in everyone to a degree but people with IBS are much more sensitive to this gas formation, and experience increased discomfort when it expands within the digestive tract.
So this book, The Calm Belly Cookbook by Cecilie Hauge Ågotones, has not come a moment too soon.
Cecilie is Norwegian and was a very severe IBS sufferer. She has researched and trialed many recipes in order to come up with a book that she hopes will help fellow sufferers. She has a blog, Low FODMAP, which will also help those who are interested in finding out more about this method of eating.
I do not suffer from IBS however I do have a member of my family that is a sufferer and I have also noticed foods that have a mildly bad reaction in my gut so I was keen to try out this book.
This is not a gluten-free cookbbok as gluten is a protein not a carbohydrate. Wheat is also allowed in very small quantities i.e. in sauces and will not have any adverse effects.
I did not have to forfeit my love of porridge as regular oats have few fructanes which is what you are looking for on a low FODMAP diet. Spelt is also an alternative to wheat as many IBS sufferers found they could tolerate this. A sourdough spelt loaf may be a good option for bread as the fermentation process breaks down the fructanes.
This cookbook is broken down into sections e.g. breakfast, main meals, sauces & seasoning, soups, salads & light lunches and sweets. If you read the introduction carefully and don’t just dive into the recipes then you will find that it is possible and quite easy to live a low FODMAP diet. Nowadays most supermarkets carry lactose free milk, a regular ingredient. There is nothing too complicated about these recipes but the ones I have tried are extremely tasty and the rest of my family did not even know they were on a low FODMAP diet.
I will feature some of the recipes in our What’s Cooking section. In the meantime if you are interested in this recipe book, Calm Belly Cookbook, then click on the Amazon link below and pre-order for 1st Feb.