The Caramel Macchiato Incident

I have a confession to make. I am a dietitian and I'm not perfect. I know that some dietitians appear to be, but I’m not one of them.

The other day, Starbucks was having a "Buy One Get One Free" macchiato day. As Caramel Macchiatos used to be my favorite pre-Low FODMAP treat and because I can't pass up “bargains”, (as if a $5 sugary coffee drink is ever a bargain), I decided that my husband and I needed to get them after my doctor’s appointment as a reward.

Though I know from previous experiments gone badly that I don’t tolerate almond milk, and I definitely don’t tolerate their caramel sauce (laden with lactose and high fructose corn syrup), I decided to get an Almond Milk Caramel Macchiato anyway.

And this was a terrible decision. I have not felt so awful in a long time! It was a very rough night and so not worth the pain I put myself through.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because we are all human and all of us make poor choices sometimes in pursuit of being like "normal people". But rather than hitting the “F It” button and going on a crazy food bender, or berating myself for being such an idiot, I try to give myself a little compassion and get back on track with my next meal. No it’s not fair that my husband had his Caramel Macchiato with regular milk and suffered no ill gastrointestinal effects and it’s ok to feel sad about this sometimes. It is not easy living with a chronic digestive disorder and multiple food intolerances.

But the part about the Low FODMAP diet that I like the best was learning what my intolerances actually are so that I can make decisions appropriately. Before I started on the diet, I really wasn’t sure what my triggers were as it seemed there was no rhyme or reason to my flare ups. Now I know what to expect when I press the f*** it button, even if I don’t like the outcome. And in the words of the 80s cartoon hero, GI Joe, “Knowing is half the battle.”