From as far back as high school I’ve had a bit of a “funny tummy”. Without giving you TMI (too much info), it’s often uncomfortable and very bloaty. My love of food has put me in denial about a possible food intolerance for 20 years. I knew it wasn’t as catastrophic as being coeliac, but little by little I came to the realisation that I needed to get to the, ahem, bottom of the issue.
So after a load of blood tests and ‘scopeis earlier this year, it turns out that I have a mild gluten intolerance and possibly an intolerance to some other foods (I suspect apple and onion). My GP advised me that I needed to go on a strict low FODMAP elimination diet for about 6 weeks, which I’ve now completed (thank goodness!). FODMAPs are basically short chain carbohydrates that are poorly digested. They include some fructose, monosaccharides, and sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol. So there was a lot I couldn’t eat – even common foods like garlic and mushrooms!
Cutting out some of these foods has made me feel a whole lot better, though it’s been a nightmare eating out. I now have a new-found appreciation for a well labelled menu. If I see lots of “GF” options it makes me so happy. One spot in particular has been a godsend – Health Freak Café, who have a menu that even caters for FODMAPers! There’s lots of dishes labelled “FOG”, free from onion and garlic.
Health Freak Cafés seem to be popping up everywhere! My local is Joondalup, though I went along to their Kings Park café for brunch with one of my besties Nays and Little Chef. It’s not actually in Kings Park, but this Health Freak Café is definitely one for the “health nuts”, as it’s found right at the bottom at Jacob’s Ladder. Way back in the early 2000’s I’d do Jacobs Ladder in my lunch break, no problemo. Now, even walking down the steep steps makes my knees crack and I have to hang on to the railing for dear life as the buff bods whizz by me. Oh to be in my energetic teens again!
At Health Freak there’s a massive menu. A big chunk of their menu is dedicated to juices and drinks. Protein shakes, weight loss juices, detox juices and super food smoothies which come hipster-style in a mason jar. There’s a varied brunch selection, as well as burgers, salads and even tapas. Each menu item lists the calorie count. To be fair I’m not a calorie counter, but I am watching what I eat and drink.
I chose the paleo tasting plate ($21). A paleo bun is topped with wilted spinach, two runny poached eggs, sprouts and side of two free range bacon rashes. I was particularly impressed by the bacon, which is nitrate free and sourced from a local butcher. I also enjoyed the bowl of coconut yoghurt topped with paleo muesli, berry compote and fresh fruit, served with fresh orange juice. I was floored that health food could taste so good! I need to get my mitts on more of that bacon too.
Nays enjoyed her veggie stack ($19). The sweet potato patties are served on a bed of wilted spinach and roasted capsicum, topped with two poached eggs, grilled haloumi and drizzle of balsamic reduction.
The little café has a an alfresco area, where we sat. At Health Freak, you can be sure every choice is a healthy one and pretty much guilt free! Little Chef had already had brekkie, so had a raw “snickers” slice for morning tea. He loved it, despite it being so healthy.
Health Freak, just off Mounts Bay Road, is within easy walking distance to John Oldham Park. We had a stroll there after our brunch, as Little Chef loves the massive slide. We’d parked up at Kings Park, so took the Kokoda Track back up the hill, which really got all of our calf muscles burning! Jacobs Ladder, Health Freak for brunch AND the Kokoda track in one morning… I did feel like a bit of a Health Freak myself! If only for one day 😉