This week my amazing daughter turned 5 so today it was party time! All her best friends were coming over to play musical statue, pass the parcel, beat up the Olaf pinata that my very creative husband had made(!) and frighten the cats with Frozen sing-along.
I love hosting children parties and see how my daughter and her friends enjoy all the food and activities I have prepared and I much prefer a small personal party to the play center ones and completely turn into a 50’s housewife replica to cook, bake and make for days before the party.
This year however I wasn’t alone in my preparations – my ibs was with me all the way! This is how my last couple of days went…
I wake up to get ready for work (my last work day before half term) and right away my stomach feels the need to tell me that it’s nearly that time of the month again by sending stabbing pains from my stomach down in my legs. I put on a loose dress (I know I’m going to need it later) and throw my Buscopan and painkillers in my bag along with a stash of peppermint and ginger/lemon tea! As the day goes on my stomach grows rapidly as my chances of a toilet trip decreases and by 16.00 when it’s time to go home I look 6 months pregnant, my ovaries are trying to drill their way out of my body and I’m absolutely desperate for a pizza and a cold glass of cola! So happily home I bake a lovely low fodmap spelt pizza with lactose free cheese, tomato puree, basil and fresh pinapple and I eat like I have been starved for weeks… In the evening I decide that my body needs to relax to be ready for my busy Friday, so I put a film on and throw my feet up and although I sound like a silent trumpet I feel great (hurray PMS pizza)!
Today the cramps hardly give me a chance to open both eyes before they attack and signals to my body that it’s time to make up for the lack of toilet visits I had yesterday. I run to the toilet, force down breakfast and take my daughter to school. Back in the house I pay the toilet another visit and decide that it’s probably easiest to leave my book (The world according to Garp, one of my absolute favourite books) in there. I clean the house and put away toys while I wonder if you can permanently insert a drip with peppermint tea. I start on the birthday cake, a low fodmap/ vegan chocolate cake, determined to work through the cramps and I reason that since I felt so good yesterday evening, eating the leftover pizza for lunch must be just the thing I need… Big mistake! It turns out that some of the pains and the increased opportunities to read my book is actually a reaction to the amount of spelt flour I have consumed (pesky fructans!) and through the afternoon I read another couple of chapters in my book. I place myself in lotus position on the floor with my heating pad on the stomach and spend the last hour before the school run covering strawberries in chocolate and sprinkles.
For dinner I make my spinach, tomato and lemon risotto knowing that it’s one of my safe dishes when the ibs monster is raging (recipe will follow in another blog post.
After my daughter has gone to bed preparations continue and a lovely pattern forms: lotus position on floor, heating pad, wrap presents for pass the parcels, a cup of ginger tea, toilet, lotus position, heating pad, ice birthday cake, a cup of peppermint tea, toilet…. rinse and repeat while making a fondant Olaf, sorting party bags and putting decorations up. Finally I go to bed thinking that surely Saturday will be better!
PARTY DAY! Despite last nights optimism, today starts in the same way as yesterday did and the cramps and toilet visits have now been joined by nausea, headache and hot flushes. I pick up my routine where I left off yesterday but now I have to alternate my heating pad between my stomach and my neck to cover both my cramps and my headache. I bake pizza swirls with the heating pad dangling around my neck and dress my daughter in her Frozen dress while trying to strangle the nausea with Tesco’s gluten free ginger biscuits before I jump in a hot shower and find yet another loose dress.
I’m ready for the rascals to take over my home! It’s just 2 hours where my body has to behave…
I constantly sip ginger tea, eat some more risotto, read a chapter or two in my book and stay way clear of all the party food – even the birthday cake that I made especially fodmap friendly so I could have a slice. And I enjoy the happy look on my daughter’s face as she wins musical statue and pulls a party bag from the beaten pinata. She swirls and sings to her hearts content and when all the children have gone home she throws her arms around me and thanks me for a wonderful day! At least she hasn’t noticed that the ibs monster is raging or that I literally was a party pooper.
By evening my stomach has calmed down, most pains are gone and I can again enjoy my book outside the toilet so I sit back and hope that tomorrow will be a calmer day.
Low fodmap and vegan chocolate cake – whole cake or cupcakes
1 1/4 cups of your choice of allowed flour, such as maize, spelt, rice or buckwheat flour
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (make sure it doesn’t contain milk powder)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 vegetable or coconut oil (or whatever you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 180’c/gas mark 4 and grease and line a tine or prepare paper cases
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
In a seperate bowl mix all wet ingredients and then pour them into the dry ingredients and mix until all lumps are out.
Pour the mixture into tin or cases.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes for cupcakes or 30 minutes for a large cake.
Leave to cool before cutting or decorating.
I just used a normal vanilla butter icing made with lactose free milk for the middle and ready to roll icing to cover it. Because it was for children I decorated it with chocolate stars and white chocolate fingers but it could easily be decorated with fruit, berries or dark chocolate instead to make it more fodmap friendly.