October 2014

Advantages of the low FODMAPs

(1) Discovering and eating lots of new foods. Spinach and silverbeet are quite lovely. Chia is beautiful, vanillary and sweet. Quinoa is easy to prepare and very delicious. I somehow made an amazing gluten free pasta thing with a tomato sauce. It was better than a lot of Italian restaurants, at least to my tastebuds,

(2) Vogels Cafe Style Muesli is completely amazing. I love it so much.

(3) I can still eat cheese. I love cheese.

(4) It seems when I eat out, the FODMAP foods try to dominate the menu. But once you have a list of what you can eat, it is not actually that hard to make delicious meals.

(5) I have to be extra prepared, so I am eating better. An egg there. A corn thin there, a salad there. It takes planning with a diet like the FODMAP one. I am spending less on food, but eating more quality. Less lollies. My body does workouts most days to stave the chronic pain off. I am fueling it better.

(6) When I am lazy, there is Ti Kouka in Wellington town which has a low FODMAP menu. You know the time when you have a food allergy and are able to eat two items on the menu if you are lucky? Well, this place has a whole menu. Crepes a Go Go have some low FODMAP options. Sushi is also possible.

(7) Fruit and vegetable markets have all the food I need to have a yummy food experience. There were strawberries at market last week for $2.50 a punnet. This was exquisitely exciting because I am allowed to eat strawberries.

(8) I am drinking less coffee. Black coffee is nowhere near as good, and Soy milk is ok, but not as good as my adored flat white.

(9) I have an excuse to cut out some foods I have never liked: onions, asparagus, brussel sprouts. I can now say that this is legitimately on dietitian advice.

(10) It is actually working in some. I have not had a throbby tummy cramp for days.


You decide to audition knowing that it is a very long shot. However, auditioning for more things is the best way of becoming less scared of auditions. After three years back at the singing game, it is time to stretch yourself again.

Your main goal : to get through an audition breathing properly. Breathing properly is important for singing, and it seems to be a skill that you forget as soon as you cross the threshold of an audition room.

You have it all planned. It is set for 16:40. You will go home, warm up, and walk back into town humming to keep those cords warm. You will drink water throughout the day to keep your throat lubricated. 4L is ideal. 

Then you get an email asking you to come at 15:20. You have a bit of a *moment*. Ok, you will bring your music with you, skip out of work for an hour and make it happen. Then you cannot find the music for your set piece. You go through your music three times without success and then hit on the idea of copying it from the library. Not a problem.

Come 13:00, you have not finished your lunch, and your hunger has been replaced by a gnawing in the stomach that means you are not hungry. Yeah, you are nervous, which is potentially a good thing, you decide. Eating is not. Drinking lots of water is.

At 14:30, you leave work and run into an… ex-lover is the best word. A man who brought the worst out of you. You exchange stilted, reluctant recognition faces, and you rush past. You get to the library and find all of the vocal scores, and then scramble around for the one you need. You have the exact change to do the copies. You have been drinking water all day, but your throat still feels patched. It is funny that whenever anyone says audition, your throat takes up the constitution of dehydrated vegetables. 

You rush to the flat you are practicing in, and a bird poos on you. There is no piano. Time for warm up some scales and exercises. Your voice knows your piece’s tuning by the way it sits on your vocal cords, so the lack of piano is not a problem. Makeup is applied as you sing. Not a good idea, you remember for next time.

You reach the venue and fill out a form. Many people hate filling out forms but you enjoy it on these occasions. Writing neatly and precisely is a nice distraction to the jangled nerves in your head. Some other ladies are auditioning and they sound amazing. You would enjoy listening if you did not know you would be competing with them.

You go into the room and sing your set piece. You are not able to do any ‘drama’ with your hands, but try to use your eyes to communicate. The main thing is that you breathe properly.Thanks, you tell your abs, but you resist the urge to pat them. The sight-singing is not hard, but you still manage to compose instead. It is well within your range. A bit of work and you could ace it. The aural stuff which you aced ten years ago is partially beyond you now. Well, you know what you need to work on, and that is ok.

You walk out happy. No, you did not ace it, but you did your best. And you know that what you need to work on is manageable. You call your teacher to tell her about it. Then you are hungry for the rest of your lunch.

I am grateful that I got a chance to do that audition and I am proud of myself for doing it. Getting in. It would be a dream come true, but I am not holding my breath. I am a singer. I need to keep working, singing, and putting myself in awkward singing situations. Only then can I improve.

Hello low FODMAP diet

For many years, I have had Irritable Bowel syndrome. I will spare you the stinky details.

This does not really mean anything medically apart from the medical people knowing that something is not right with my tummy. They are not quite sure what. But I should take my meds and behave myself, even though these meds often cause side effects that make things worse.

Well, since finding out that health professionals have been so wrong about the pain I have had in my shoulder for years, and a number of other things, I have developed a determination infused with skepticism and curiosity that means I will keep seeking answers. My body must be telling me something. I am the one who had to live with this stuff, and it is rather annoying at times, and at times, pretty painful. There is something in my diet that causes these troubles, which may be linked with the inflammation from the CRPS

So I sought out a dietician, and after examining a food diary, she has put me on a low FODMAP diet. I am not going to explain what low FODMAPs are. Many others do that quite well.

I am NOT happy about cutting out mushrooms, milk, and some other marvellous foods, but I intend to focus on what I can eat rather than what I am not able to ingest. I hope and pray that it is the answer, and that it will improve my life quality.

I am going on a shop today. I am happy that I can still eat blueberries, dark chocolate, and rockmelon. Hopefully, this will be the answer.

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