Thanks for popping into Our House For Tea!

Welcome, please pull up a chair, we can all shuffle down, there’s always room for one more. I’m Laura, my daughter and I have been living all things Low-FODMAP since 2012. All my life I have suffered from the symptoms of IBS. The introduction of the Low-FODMAP diet was something of an epiphany - bloating was gone, I was no longer mistaken for being pregnant! Cheerfully I waved goodbye to stomach cramps, nausea, headaches and all the fun of bowel issues! For further ramblings on this subject, do have a nosey at my video - The Low-FODMAP Diet and Me.

What are FODMAPs? The Low-FODMAP diet was developed by researchers at Monash University, Australia, for the management of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols - these are a collection of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large intestine. I'm contemplating getting this tattooed on my wrist, as I'm always asked what FODMAP stands for and can never remember!

For IBS sufferers, these carbohydrates can cause a range of symptoms: bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea and stomach cramps, that can often be improved by a Low-FODMAP diet. Living with these symptoms can cause distress and upset; I felt constantly ill. 

King's College research indicates about 70% of people living with IBS see an improvement in their symptoms following the diet. Low-FODMAP does not necessarily mean no-FODMAPs - after the initial elimination period, foods are re-introduced to see which foods you are able to tolerate. In my case, everything I have re-introduced has caused a bad reaction.The Low-FODMAP diet can mean life without IBS-controlling medications and side effects,  and can free up GP time for other matters. Everyone's a winner! Can I recommend you download the comprehensive Monash University Low-FODMAP app to help you track your reintroductions and as a handy guide to Low-FODMAP 'safe' serving sizes.

Nearly every ready-made meal option seems to contain onion - it's not a simple case of just buying a gluten-free option. In addition to the Low-FODMAP list, I also can't eat egg, yeast or cow's milk, hopefully you aren't similarly afflicted! The reality of cooking everything from scratch for my busy family has been something of a learning curve. I always loved cooking and eating but when faced with a list of traditionally essential ingredients that were now off limits, I was baffled.  However, several years of experience and several kitchen disasters later, I’ve developed recipes that aren’t too reliant on unfamiliar ingredients, look the same as ‘normal’ food and aren’t too fiddly. A compilation of the recipe highlights of this journey are in my book 'Our House For Tea' (I didn't include the disasters!) The book also contains a chapter on ‘Low-FODMAP Lifehacks’ - tricks I have learnt to make your diet more manageable. People are surprised when I tell them the food I have just fed them was low-FODMAP - it’s just good, tasty food, regardless of whether you’re on a restricted diet or not. See my excitement when the book arrived - First Our House For Tea cookbook arrives.

Alongside blogs and video updates of what we’re having for tea, you’ll also find my general musings on food: I do hope you find my musings amusing. Everything is photographed or videoed at Our House and then eaten for our teatime - no trickery, we're all about real-life. You can see my tiny kitchen - Welcome to the Our House For Tea Kitchen. Do pop into the shop on the site for some low-FODMAP 'cheat' ingredients and let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see.

I'd love to hear what you're having for tea, let me know on social media or use the contact form. See you soon!

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