July has been a quiet month for blog posts, but I do have a good excuse apart from just a busy work schedule and I have some tasty looking pictures stored on my PC for pending posts, which I’ll share very soon.
Back in icy, cold February Rob and I booked our summer holiday to Italy – it felt like a long wait back then, but suddenly it was time to go!
I adore Italian food and the thought of missing out on eating pizza and pasta whilst in Italy was rather dismal. So I trawled the internet before leaving, thinking that at least Florence, being a large city, might have some gluten free options.
I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that gluten free dining is a big thing in Italy. In a way it makes sense that Italians would be more conscious of Coeliac disease, due to the prevalence of wheat and gluten in the traditional Italian diet.
The Celiac Disease Foundation in the US explains that all Italians are tested for the disease by the age of six and the government provides financial support to anyone diagnosed and they also get extra annual leave to shop for and prepare gluten free foods. ‘The Italian Celiac Association and government have done an excellent job educating restaurants on how to deal with celiac disease. There are even gluten-free meals in schools, hospitals, and all other public eating establishments.’
Senza glutine! Learn the phrase and you’ll be smiling.
We stumbled across Hostaria Pizzeria La Tufa in Ossaia, Cortona – which served THE BEST gluten free pizza bases I’ve ever tasted. Rob and I even struggled to tell the difference between my senza glutine pizza base and his wheat base. Ate a stunningly delicious, posh gluten free pasta lunch at Buca di Sant’Antoni.And another fantastic pizza at Pizzeria La Luna in Florence (as you can tell, prosciutto and rucola is my favorite!).
As well as lots of other delicious meals including salads, meat and vegetables which were perfect for the low FODMAP diet. Full reviews of the restaurants to follow shortly…I even tried some normal wheat ravioli, as I had heard that sometimes people who aren’t able to tolerate wheat in the UK, can manage it in some countries where it isn’t as heavily processed. It was hand made in the restaurant and I just couldn’t resist…
If you have Coeliac disease you must avoid gluten at all times, but if not you might be able to manage a small amount on occasion, as FODMAPs tend to have a cumulative effect. I seemed to be ok and the sage and butter sauce was well worth being a bit more strict the rest of the day.I was delighted with the delicious meals and really pleased with myself for managing to eat so clean. However, there was one vital ingredient I unfortunately forgot all about…
Reducing your FODMAP intake can result in a low fibre diet, however it’s not something I’ve paid much attention to in the past, as I tend to eat a high fibre diet quite naturally at home. Many of my weekly meals include high fibre foods like quinoa, brown rice/brown rice pasta, baked potatoes, oats, berries and plenty of low FODMAP fruit and veg.
However, I realised halfway through the holiday that whilst I was doing a great job of avoiding FODMAPs, unfortunately I wasn’t getting sufficient fibre. After doing another bit of research, I then went on to discover some handy, fool proof ways of maintaining a high fibre intake whilst on holiday, which I’ll share in a post very soon.