“Is a complex diet right for you when you’ve got chronic pain?”


Absolutely. And not at all.

A bit of a ‘meh’ answer, isn’t it?

My head is pounding as I write this and – after knocking the flour over twice – I’m almost ready to throw in the towel. “Enough for today, I’ll just have crackers and cheese,” I think. I’ve spent the last two hours in the kitchen making a new baby-led weaning recipe for Baby Lemons, Ferrero-style nut balls for my sweet tooth, and quinoa bread rolls for the #LowFODMAPGBBO challenge. “Use the time that the Northerner is home to get things done,” I mantra to me, “He can look after the baby“. But my knees are bothering me, my clumsiness is robbing me of my last nerve and all I want to do is drink a cup of tea and indulge in a bit of “Outlander”.

I didn’t choose Low FODMAP for the fun of it. At least, in the UK, it’s a way of living that requires you to make a whole lot of, if not all, food from scratch. When I’m well (in other words: not right now), I batch cook and freeze a lot of food for when I’m not so well, tired or simply too busy to make, say, breads, ketchup, and Thai Curry pastes.

It is a lot of effort and I do have my moments when I just want to eat like a ‘normal person’, have a takeaway or a ready-made sauce, a bite of that thing with the 37 different ingredients. But in my heart (and gut), I know Low FODMAP is simply the only way of eating for me that has kept my gastrointestinal issues in check as it keeps inflammation at bay and supports my general well-being. It works for me. It works really well.

Now… I’m heading for a flare, I’m not kidding myself. The clumsiness and pains are a telltale warning sign that now is the time for pacing and slowing down (even though my stubbornness dictates that the bread rolls still need baking and I haven’t even started on dinner yet). But it’s for those days when there are pre-cooked batches of bolognese, Thai curry, gnocchi, and other goodies in the freezer. And the bread rolls surely make themselves… right?

In other words: yes, a complex diet, like Low FODMAP, is right as it helps me manage my chronic pain. But my chronic pain can get in the way of eating Low FODMAP, so I need to be organised and disciplined.

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