Chocolate is a FODMAP friendly ingredient as long as it is eaten in moderation. Because the low FODMAP chocolate cake I have been making is just not the same as the regular version I had made alterations to, I decided to test my chocolate intolerance by using the original recipe again. I ate a piece of this cake this past Friday afternoon and it was amazing – moist, dense and intense dark chocolate flavor- and did not seem to bother me. The following afternoon my stomach started gurgling as I was eating my lunch: a hamburger on a gluten-free roll and a small serving of coleslaw. The gurgling turned into a 30 minute bathroom visit followed by stomach pains. I blamed either the fat content of the hamburger (even though I patted the grease off the burger with a few napkins) or the possibility of the roll not being gluten free as I was at a busy a restaurant. The next morning, Easter, I was still feeling a bit off, but no bathroom episodes, so I felt positive about eating Easter lunch later in the day. I ate lunch (roast beef, green beans and onion-free potato salad) and still no problems. Feeling fine, I decided to eat another piece of the same chocolate cake I had Friday. BIG MISTAKE! I felt bloated and uncomfortable the rest of the afternoon; I woke up in the middle of the night feeling extremely nauseous and had another bathroom episode that morning (which is today). Right now, I think I’m finally starting to feel back to myself, but I had to leave work a few hours early because I felt so uncomfortably bloated and nauseous. Although I should be saying I’ll never eat chocolate again, that would just be a plain lie. I suppose I’ll just go back to the drawing board and search for another FODMAP friendly recipe or keep experimenting with alterations to existing recipes I have in my massive rolodex. Although this weekend was not the greatest of my FODMAP journey, at least I know that chocolate is a problem for me.
Another complication I have been experiencing lately is a feeling of shakiness and jitteriness. After considering the various diet changes I have made, it is likely a cause of the higher carbohydrates in the gluten free products I am eating. I haven’t felt this way in a while because I stopped eating foods high in sugar and made sure to eat a balanced meal with more protein and vegetables than carbs. Also, when baking, I always reduced the sugar that the original recipe called for and opted for lower glycemic sugars like coconut sugar. I haven’t been using coconut sugar because I’ve seen mixed opinions on including coconut sugar in the FODMAP diet. I’m also unsure about incorporating coconut flour (a low carb alternative) into my diet. I have had a lot of success so far with this diet as far as eliminating stomach pain, nausea, bloating and distension, but now that I am noticing this new side effect, I need to do more research to figure out how to make my tummy happy and my blood sugar levels happy at the same time. Although I do not have diabetes, I have always been very sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels, so I think my plan now is to research FODMAP friendly options for people with diabetes. It gets frustrating at times, to be so limited in food choices, but I know other people have worse problems than IBS. So, with that, I will conduct some new research on diet alternatives and hopefully have some better luck in the weeks to come.