If like me you follow the low FODMAP diet you know how important it is to always have safe foods with you. We’ve all had days when we had to buy lunch from the supermarket, canteen or a cafe. Options are usually limited (now that is an understatement!); if any and at times we end up having to buy something we know we shouldn’t be having and end up paying the consequences later… This makes thinking ahead and preparing meals in advance very important. So why don’t we do it? In my case sometimes life gets in the way. So despite our best efforts sometimes we’re caught a bit unprepared. So how can we tackle this?
- Plan your weekly meals and snacks in advance. This will make shopping easier and quicker. Also you will have everything you need for the upcoming week.
- Cook extra portions. I always cook an extra portion at dinner and have it for lunch the next day. You may also freeze extra portions to eat later on in the week. Nothing beats having a meal ready for you once you get home from a long day at work.
- Always carry a low FODMAP snack with you. Sometimes a quick errand can take much longer than expected so a safe snack in your bag is ideal! How about some crisps, nuts or rice cakes?
- Download the Monash app. This is a life saver especially when on the go! If you’re not sure whether it is FODMAP friendly look it up.
- Keep safe foods in the fridge at work or in your desk drawer. Most work places will have a small kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have one keep some FODMAP friendly foods here as a back up plan. FODMAP friendly cereal, yoghurt, crackers, cheese and fruit can make great snacks.
- Know the area around your work place. Look out for any supermarkets and cafes around your work place. Go and have a look when not busy to check what FODMAP friendly foods they have in advance so you know what you can have if you forget your lunch or haven’t prepared one. This will save you time on the day and also give you peace of mind.
Usually I like to fit in my food prep on Sundays. Last Sunday I made a low FODMAP tzatziki to last me throughout the week and a quinoa tabbouleh for the next day. The tzatziki makes a great snack. I usually have mine with carrot sticks. Get the recipe here.
I quite like tabbouleh but of course it’s been off limits due to the use of Bulgar wheat. Today I realised that I could easily substitute it with quinoa! So here’s the recipe. You can serve it with some gf pitta bread.
Quinoa Tabbouleh (serves 2)
- 65g quinoa
- 160g tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- 2 spring onions; green part only, finely chopped
- bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 40ml olive oil
- Cook the quinoa as instructed on the packaging. However decrease the amount of water used in cooking so the quinoa can absorb the lemon juice.
- Mix tomatoes, spring onions, parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Add in the quinoa once it has cooled.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to infuse.