Monthly Archives: December 2013

A FODMAP Christmas greeting

I am struggling with my FODMAP diet.

ibsFODMAPS are in lots of food we all eat and it is an acronym for: Fermentable 
Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galactans) 
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose) Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose)
Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt) 

Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Because my stomach can’t absorb these FODMAPS, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – one of the least sexy syndromes you can find!

Trying to avoid all the lovely symptoms of IBS means I can’t eat lots of my favourite foods and some of you who may have been reading my blog for a while are aware of how frustrating I find this.

No garlic. No onion. No wheat. No dried fruits. No juice. No watermelon. No grapes. No mushrooms. No ice cream. No fun!

I see this condition as a punishment for the excesses of my youth when as a daughter of a Greek migrant, I ate bread with every meal, not to mention lots and lots of garlic and onion!

Heck, my first job was in bakery, where I could scoff bread to my heart’s content – and I did!

So, karma has bitten me on the bum (and the upper intestine).

And it’s so much tougher during Christmas!

I am surrounded by shortbread, brownies, and of course lots of Lindt chocolate. The chocolate is OK; it’s the filling that throws me. And all that lovely wheat in those home baked goodies – good Lord!

If I were a good FODMAPite I would steer clear of all the foods that I know will send my stomach into a tailspin.

But I must be a slight masochist, because I cannot resist nibbling and tasting these foods because my taste buds remember how delicious they are!

Why cant there be a drug for people like me with food allergies, so our taste buds forget how much we love these foods? A second’s taste for days of pain would no longer be the internal battle I fight with myself on an almost daily basis.

So to all the other FODMAPites out there – I feel your (bloated) pain!

I hope you enjoy a gluten free, wheat free, FODMAP free Christmas and an IBS-free New Year!


What a tangled web we weave….

One thing they don’t tell you about being a parent is how often you will need to lie to your kids.

My little girl is 7 (almost 8). She still believes in fairies and unicorns. And I keep up that faith by making up reasons why unicorns and fairies are invisible, and every now and then I place a little keepsake under her pillow to keep her believing that she has her own personal fairy that looks after her and gives her gifts.

chocolate-bunniesShe still believes in Santa; but she tricked me into killing off her belief in the Easter bunny.

I accidentally killed the Easter Bunny in a weak moment when I was reading her a bedtime story. She looked at me with a big knowing grin and asked me if I hide the easter eggs at Easter.

I remember looking in to her eyes; my mind whirring. What was the right thing to say?! She looked like she was quite proud of herself for figuring it all out, so I thought it was safe to tell her the truth. And so I did.

I did not make the right decision.

“Whaaaaat?!” she cried. Her face fell and she started sobbing in that hiccupy way that little kids do. She looked totally devastated and I had to back pedal like a maniac and told her that he only stopped coming last year because he thought that six-year-old was too old to visit anymore.

He only visits litlte kids, you see. But you never know when he may stop coming, so Mummies and Daddies always have a stock of eggs on hand incase he decides not to come anymore.

“But I’m still a little girl,” she wailed. Which took me by surprise, because anyone who knows my daughter, or is lucky enough to hear my stories about her, knows that she is 7 going on 17.

I finally calmed her down and when she drifted off to sleep, I quickly raced off to tell her Dad what had just happened, so he could back up my lie that the Easter Bunny is real, but he stopped coming last year.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!

secret santaThis time of year becomes particularly tricky to keep up the Santa pretence. For example, today I took her and her little brother to the local shopping centre to have their photo taken with Santa.

On the way there, she asked if he was the real santa. I had to quickly think of what I said to her last year when she asked the same thing. Did I say yes or no? Did I say he was Santa’s twin brother? I couldn’t remember, so had to wing it.

I told her he was one of Santa’s helpers. She looked confused and asked why he was dressed as Santa if he was just one of the helpers! Damn that sharp, curious mind of hers!

So I had to make up another lie to add to the hundreds of lies I’ve told her through her short life: that he is dressed up like Santa so people will THINK he’s the real Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas, so he can then relay the message back to the REAL Santa.

Clear as mud?

So for now, Santa is safe.

P.S As I was typing this post, my daughter raced into the study and I had to quickly minimise the screen so she wouldn’t read any of what I’ve written. Phew! Close call!

Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for reading my blog. Your likes and comments have been the highlight of my year!

Experiencing the full wrath of a seven-year-old

World War Chloe broke out in our home this evening.

It started more as Daughter (Chloe) v Daddy. My son and I were Switzerland for a while there; trying to stay out of things and hoping the two parties would call a truce.

Thank you so much for teaching me about boundaries - what a great Mum you are!
Thank you so much for teaching me about boundaries – what a great Mum you are!

But then the tide turned and somehow I was right in the thick of it all. My daughter suddenly switched.

But there she was. Answering back at me. Open defiance that totally crossed the line.

And to be honest, as I type this, I can’t even remember exactly what she did to make me send her to her room, but whatever it was, it was the tipping point.

She stood there, refusing to leave. I asked again. No movement. I yelled. Nothing. I yelled again and banged the table out of frustration. She skulked off to her room without finishing her dinner.

The peace was short lived. My daughter stormed out of her room demanding to know how long she need to stay in there. When I said all night she asked how many minutes.

Yes, Mother dear. I will do whatever  you say.
Yes, Mother dear. I will do whatever you say.

Are you starting to understand how this evening started to slowly unravel?

“But I’m starving, Mum!”

“Oh well.”

“But I’m s-o-o-o hungry!”

“Never mind. Please go to your room.”


“Please go to your room” x 25

“No” x 25

So I threatened that if she didn’t go to her room, then we wouldn’t go shopping on the weekend. And it worked – until she came out again.

When I told her the shopping trip was off, she pulled out the big guns and ran to her room yelling out that I was the world’s worst Mum and that she hated me.

Yep. I got the “I hate you!” outburst about 10 years too early.

Peoples, I have looked into the abyss of teenagerdom – and I didn’t like it.

After a pause, she yelled out from her room “And by the way, you are the world’s meanest Mum!”

Then the bumps and thuds came from within her room. I ignored them for a while, then opened the door. She had torn down a framed photo of myself and her and ripped it up. The pieces were on the floor.

And as cool as cucumber, my little poppet says “Oh, I did that because you are the world’s worst Mum.”

Honestly, I looked at her like she was a complete stranger. I was waiting for her head to start spinning!

And you just know that tomorrow morning, she will wake up as sweet as pie – as though nothing had happened!

Ah, the roller coaster of parenthood, eh? Let me off please!

High tea with my gals

Tea CupsI had a fantastic afternoon yesterday. It was my annual high tea gathering with my wonderful girlfriends (minus three) and it was an afternoon full of mutual admiration, gossip, laughs and love.

These women are amazing. Truly.

Some are Mums; some are not; some work full time; some work part time; some are self employed; others are working for nightmare bosses; some are returning to work after being stay-at-home Mums; and even one is looking after a brand new baby!

Some are school friends and some are friends of friends. Some are married; some are single and some are raising kids with partners.

What a fabulous mixed bag!

high tea ladiesI love the company of women and I feel a bit sorry for any fellas that don’t enjoy the same kind of support and camaraderie that we enjoy. There is nothing better than talking about your true feelings and sharing your setbacks, successes, and failures with your closest girlfriends.

My goodness, if I didn’t have a group of friends to laugh about all those times I failed dismally at being the perfect mum, I think I would go insane!

Motherhood is only do-able if you can laugh at yourself and your children with others who truly understand and will not judge – am I right?

So I want to send out a huge hug and thank you to my girlfriends who have known me as the class clown; then as a young woman in my first relationship (oh, the angst!); as a backpacker exploring the world; to venturing into the workforce (and helping me spend my first pay cheque on Clinique make up!); to meeting my future husband and getting married (I am forever thankful to my bridesmaids who fanned me after I had to stop the ceremony because I was about to pass out!); and then becoming a Mum.

You are my strength. And every time we meet up I feel energised and so thankful for our friendship.

I love youse all!