So… who am I and what’s my story?
I think I was borne with a digestionsystem that was too fast. I can remember, from my childhood, my father and mother sometimes had to run with me in between them, because I really needed the toilet, very quick! Luckily it wasn’t that bad and I managed to cope with it.
12-15 years ago I got an abdominal infection that lasted for 2 months. I never fully recovered, but mostly because I was selfemployeed, I managed to work around the cramps, diarrhea, bloating etc… At this time I got the diagnose Irritable Bowel Sydrome, IBS.
Although I did have days where my digestion-system didn’t treat me well, I had a great life. I was selfemployeed as a nail-technician and beautysalon-owner, I competed all over the world (was an English champion twice), trained with some of the best in the world in the US, worked backstage at London Fashion Week and was one of the best payed nail-technicians in Norway (maybe Europe?).
In 2009-2010 (to be honest I don’t remember the exact year) I started to get pain in my joints, mostly my arms, shoulders and neck. Pain was not new for me, but THIS pain was new and at the worst I couldn’t dress myself, drive the car and needed help with everything. I was very quickly diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a heritable connective tissue disorder. It’s rare and chronic and it effects my joints, my digestionsystem, teeth, head (migraine), heart… etc… the whole body is made of connective tissue… Unfortunately there is no cure for this desase. 9 months after I got the first signs of the desease, my GP and I decided to close my company. I had to do somehting else.
For 2-3 years I tried to do something new, but my body wouldn’t work with me and I got worse and worse. In the end I had to apply to get disability benefits. I was crying when I did this and also when I got it confirmed. This was NOT the life I had wanted!
At this time my IBS got worse too and I was sure my life was over, having pain everywhere and even all this “shitty” (sorry….) things with my stomach. My last hope for my IBS was trying the low FODMAP-diet.
At first, it didn’t do anything and I was debating to quit the whole diet. Suddenly I understood that I reacted quite badly to cornflour (although it is low FODMAP!) and when I stoped eating cornflour AND food high in FODMAP my IBS got much better. (I still have pain in my joints and the migraine has not became better either, but not having the constant pain in my stomach, always bloated, diarrhea etc…. makes the total picture of my health better.)
Because I needed a place to keep my recipes and because I thought other people could get help from my recipes, but also my experience with the diet, I started a Norwegian low FODMAP blog. After only a few weeks I understood that the blog was needed. Not only because of the low FODMAP-aspect, but also to bring up all the taboos around having a digestion illness.
In jan. 2015 my first low FODMAP-cookbook was released by one of the biggest publishers in Norway, Aschehoug. My intention with the book (and also the blog) was to tell and show people that they could eat deliciuos low FODMAP-food, easily made and for the whole family. The book became a bestseller after 3 weeks and is still selling very well.
Right after my lowFODMAP-book was realeased, I got in contact with the local hospital, which also is the Norwegian/national research center for functional bowel deseases, and they asked me to do a talk about the practical use of the low FODMAP-diet and how to live with IBS and chronic illnesses. After my first talk I do regulare talks at that hospital, but also at other hospitals, for patient-organisations, entrepreneurs (how to cope with illnesses as an entrepreneur and how I managed to change my path) etc…
I have always loved to travel. When my IBS was at it worst I decided to never put my body on an airplane again, ever. However after getting more control, mostly because of the low FODMAP-diet, I started to travel again. It’s doable, but you have to prepare. I found my ways of making food to bring and even how to make food at the hotel-room in a small egg-boiler! My next low FODMAP-book , released Feb. 2016, was a travel-book with recipes, tips for traveling and dictionaries in 6 langugaes.
This spring I was headhunted over to another publisher, Vigmostad & Bjoerke, and in Jan. 2017 my next book will be launched: a cake- and dessertbook.
3 years and 3 books and I have written papers, as a patient, in health-journals, been on national television, newspapers, magazines… Sometimes I have to pinch myself to understand everything!
Am I still disabled? Unfortunately I have to live with my stupid body, so yes, I am part-time disabled. Not sure if that is an English word… 🙂 I still have nights where I can’t sleep because of pain, days where I don’t leave the house because of too much pain, I always have to plan everything to get enough energy to do what I have planned to do etc… etc… Sometimes I’m so frustrated that I will let it out here in the lowfodmapblog, but mostly I don’t. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me (haha, it’s enough that I do this myself)!
As I have said before: Please be aware that English is not my first language. Although I have lived part-time in Liverpool (I commuted while my husband and son lived there), my English is not at all perfect. If I’m tired I’m struggling even to find Norwegian words, so please excuse me my English.
Please be aware that I’m not a doctor or dietitian. Although I do have contact with dietitians and doctors that I usually ask if I’m in doubt, you should seek professional help to diagnose your IBS and discuss your individual low FODMAP-plan.
All the recipes in my books and in this blog is made from a strict FODMAP-elimination perspective if nothing else has been said.