Now I’ve read about FODMAPS. They’re complicated. Huge lists of fruit and vegetables that could be causing all your IBS symptoms.

I have to admit, FODMAPS has me running for the hills because I am already avoiding some pretty major food groups and really annoying things like celery and tomato to boot.

So last week’s visit to the Allergy Clinic at Churchill Hospital in Oxford may have quite literally changed my life.

I had an appointment with the lovely Liane Reeves who talked me through FODMAPS.
She agreed she was reluctant to reduce my already tightened diet.

So we talked about other things I could do, still thinking about FODMAPS but not going at it full on. The allergies are under control. The eczema isn’t great but is not covering my face and I am sleeping well so that’s not bothering me much really. I just get on with it.

But the IBS and stomach symptoms like cramps, constipation, bloating etc. can be really painful, tiring and anti-social to say the least.

I took away five really simple tips. Think FODMAPs for beginners, which you might find helpful.

  • Oats

These make up a large part of my diet. And in the last year I’ve started getting lazy and eating muesli instead of my favoured porridge. By simply making sure you only eat cooked oats this could make a big difference. Uncooked oats can be harder for the stomach to digest. Cooking opens up the starch molecules and should make them easier for the body to make use of. Just three days of having porridge instead of lazy muesli and I feel better already. Could it really be that simple? Liane also suggested I alternate with other breakfast grains such as quinoa, buckwheat and rice flakes.

  • Oats again – are they all gluten free?

As well as always buying gluten free oats I also drink oat milk and cream and alternate these with other plant milks. But are these made with gluten free oats? I’m not so sure they all are so I need to do some research to find out. No good being all clever and buying GF oats of I then don’t check the milk…

  • Water and fluid

I do drink herbal tea and water but I should be drinking a lot more, especially if I start my day off with porridge of other grains. Oats need a good amount of fluid to aid digestive transit.

  • Vegetables

Things like onions and garlic are high on the FOPMAPS chart and also make up a large part in my diet. But you could try using garlic infused oils, or cooking with large chunks of onion to get the flavour, but fishing them out before eating or whizzing up soup.

  • Probiotics and Prebiotics

Let’s give them a go. I don’t take anything regularly so I do need to also take a look at whether taking a regular boost for my stomach flora might help. I know when I don’t need them as my stomach reacts quite quickly with bloating but they can often help if I am struggling to digest food or know I’m going to eating a lot of rich foods, like this time of year

3omega6 Flax milk on blueberry porridge












Thank you Liane. Could cooking my oats and drinking more tea and water really help me feel better so quickly? Or am I just a sucker for the placebo effect? You listened and were kind so I feel better anyway? Or is this just a good week?

Who cares. Happy Christmas everyone.

I also found out about The British Gut project. Visit www.britishgut.co.uk to find out what your gut microbiome health is really like.


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