Monday, July 16, 2018

My Diet Is ALL OVER THE FODMAP

We've gotten pretty close here, you and I.


You know my proper bra size and how I deal with menstrual cramps, and *I* know that you like to read about those things sometimes. Weirdo.

So anyhoo, I figure you may as well know this, too, since I've stumbled across something again I think could help my fellow sufferers out there:

Hi, I'm Jen, and my stomach has hurt since the second grade.

Over the last 6 weeks or so, though, I've been on something called the Low FODMAP diet, and wow.  Wow. I think this could be the answer to most of my life-long stomach problems... which is huge.

A little background: You name the gut problem, and I've probably had or have it. GERD, IBS-C, IC - really I just like collecting acronyms. School was agony (the trend of skin-tight jeans didn't help), on my first-ever date with John I had to excuse myself to go cry in the bathroom from the pain, and since then I've been to the ER with chest spasms, spent more nights than I can count pacing the house, sleeping sitting up, guzzling pills and supplements, and just generally whining and feeling helpless.

Over those early years I was tested for everything: I drank barium, got strapped to tilting tables - the works. All I was ever diagnosed with was reflux and a "nervous stomach," though, so I stopped seeing doctors and resigned myself to a life of pain.

Giving up milk and ice cream last year helped immensely with the reflux (go figure, right?), but even after the chest spasms were gone I had a near-constant aching, along with the more embarrassing aspects of IBS-C. (My fellow 'BSers know my pain, amirite?) It all felt so normal, though - just part of being me - so I often forgot anything was wrong, or could ever change. I still vividly recall the rerun of Scrubs where Elliot jokes about not having "poo'd" in 4 days, because I was like, "Wait... that's bad?" Ha!


It's all been getting worse, though - plus some new pains, which were spiking my anxiety - so out of desperation I convinced John to try the AIP with me in May. The AIP is an insanely restrictive diet meant to reduce inflammation for people with autoimmune diseases, and since I have Hashi's, I figured it would help.

A week later I was more miserable than ever; the pain was somehow worse, plus now I was queasy all the time. Bleh.

We went to another GI doctor, who wasn't all that concerned, but offered to run a bunch of tests. When I balked at the dual endoscopy/colonoscopy, saying I thought it was food-related, she said she'd heard of something called FODMAP I could try. It's a special diet, pretty new, meant to help folks with IBS. She didn't know anything more about it, though - and she'd never heard of AIP.

I went home and looked it up, and discovered most of the things we'd been eating on AIP - things like apples, sweet potatoes, avocados, cassava flour, honey, almonds, garlic, and so on - are all big no-nos on Low FODMAP.  I'd been eating the worst possible stuff, which is funny now, but was super disheartening at the time. (Our pantry was full of expensive AIP foods and flours, dangit!) I moped it out, though, and with John's help took a breath, switched gears, and started all over again.

Just one day on Low FODMAP, and the queasy pain went away.

SOLD!

Since then I've been living my best FODMAP life, and even with several slip-ups, I feel so much better. I remember what it's like to not have a stomach ache again! And the constant whale song gut-gurgling? Gone. AHH SWEET SILENCE. I even switched from my $50 probiotic to a $10 one, and don't need my other "moving" supplements either, thank goodness.

I still hurt sometimes, which could be my missing something in what I'm eating (I'm not great at checking ingredients), or maybe my gut is still irritated. Overall, though, I really think this is a root cause to my pain for all these years. Again, this is huge.

If you're unfamiliar with Low FODMAP, as I was, it has to do with the carbohydrates in food and how they're broken down in your gut. Certain sugars don't digest properly, and while those sugars are in some obvious things, like beans, they're also in things I'd never have suspected, like mushrooms or beets. Plus, who ever heard of a diet where you can't eat apples?

This explains why my own attempts to fix my diet never worked; I was missing all the non-obvious FODMAPs. Not to mention eating apples every day with lunch. (Arg.)

To give you an idea, here are some of the things you can't have on Low FODMAP:



The one good thing about transitioning from AIP to Low FODMAP? You suddenly have waaaaay more food options, so Low FODMAP doesn't feel all that restrictive. Don't get me wrong; it still sucks. Just not nearly as much as AIP.

The biggest challenges for me on Low FODMAP are avoiding onion, garlic, and wheat. There are lots more restrictions, but those seem to be the hardest to avoid when ordering take-out, which we do a lot. (Try ordering anything in a restaurant without onion in the seasoning, oof.) I can have most gluten-free breads, though, and even regular sugar is OK, so helloooooo, gluten-free cookies!

I should note this isn't a diet to lose weight, it's to feel better. It's also technically an elimination diet, though I don't plan to add anything back in anytime soon. Since I can't eat most things at restaurants I'm definitely eating healthier, though: lots of homemade soup and chicken and rice. The gluten-free bread and bagels at Aldi are fantastic - better & cheaper than Udi's - plus they have some little boxed cookies I like:


 Don't get the Snickerdoodle ones, though; they made me gag. Urk.

While you're at Aldi (which I *highly* recommend for slashing your grocery bill in half, but that's another post), pick up these sesame chips, too:

SO TASTY. John and I've been eating these since long before the diet; they're just that good. I like them better than potato chips.

Because Low FODMAP isn't low-carb I don't feel deprived, and being pain-free this long has me way too happy to miss my favorite forbidden foods. (Though in time I'm sure I will. Guacamole, I hardly knew you.)

Anyway, I'm no expert, and I'm not trying to give you a guide for starting Low FODMAP yourself; that's what Google is for. I just wanted you to know this option is out there. If you're like me and have life-long stomach problems, and you're fed up with feeling rotten, maybe give it a try!

Oh! And if any of you are already on Low FODMAP, what do you think? Any tips? Favorite recipes? Favorite take-out options? Please, hit me up in the comments; I'm getting tired of chicken and rice every night!

89 comments:

  1. My husband tried the low FODMAP thing for two years and it was hard to cook for, how do you cook without onions?!

    I found garlic infused (NOT flavoured) olive oil is a god send and you can recreate some of the taste of onions with the green tops of scallions.

    This recipe with the oil replaced with garlic infused olive oil is amazing and very very tasty.

    To spruce up the chicken and rice (again with garlic removed/replaced with oil and only using the green tops of scallions).

    Good luck!

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  2. I just found this FODMAP thing online this weekend, when I sort of diagnosed myself with IBS-D. I need to see a doctor about all the issues I've had, but this may be a good thing to try out to try to lessen the issues on my own first. So many trips to the bathroom! So many loud noises from my gut! So much gas! I always put it down to just being part of getting older, but even when I eliminated all foods that were deep fried (even potato chips), which I thought were causing everything, the problems still happen. Maybe this diet will help.

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  3. Finely chopped celery is a good replacement for onion in some dishes. I tried this a few years ago but wasn’t motivated enough, been thinking about trying it again!

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  5. How very cool that you just happened to go to that one particular GI doc who'd just heard about FODMAP! That's all the good karma you put out into the universe coming back to you! Really glad to hear that the new diet is working for you so quickly.

    It must really suck to have to avoid onions and garlic, because I know that they are in absolutely everything that's already prepared, but you were already going to have to prepare most of your own food with the AIP diet, so this is no different. I wish I had meal recommendations for you, but I pretty much put an entire bulb of garlic in everything I cook (and wonder why I don't have friends, heh), and all those vegetables on your "no" list are my absolute favorites.

    I definitely believe that what you eat or don't eat can cure you of *almost* anything, but often there's that ridiculously long and challenging quest to find the right information for your particular situation. My aunt, who suffered with fibromyalgia for over 30 years and tried every kind of medication and therapy, found a new doctor several months ago who put her on a very restrictive diet (not AIP), and after only a few weeks, she was able to do things she hadn't been able to do for decades. She has half or less of the pain she had before and wakes up every day filled with optimism now.

    Everyone listen! Food can be poison or medicine! If you are in pain, don't delay looking into dietary causes and dietary treatments! Not everyone responds the same to every food. You have to find what works for YOUR body. Don't give up! Make sure to give every new diet you try a fair chance. Sometimes it takes two or three weeks to notice any improvement.

    Also, nobody listen to Jen about Aldi's gluten-free snickerdoodles because they are delicious. They taste just like the ones from Trader Joe's... maybe/probably because it's the same product in different packaging. The Enjoy Life snickerdoodles are similar, but not as good...I think those must be made in a different factory.

    Jen, I'm wishing you continued good health and freedom from pain. John, please bake her some gluten-free snickerdoodles that won't make her gag!

    KW

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    1. You made me LOL with your snickerdoodle recommendation - you LIKE those?? Lol! I admit I'm not the biggest snickerdoodle fan to begin with, though, so I'll get by with just my chocolate cookies. :D

      That's amazing about your aunt! I've heard similar success stories from friends who discovered they had a gluten and/or other food allergies - I had no idea such things could even reduce your ability to walk and function, just astounding how the body works.

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    2. Woot! I made Jen laugh!

      I totally admit that the chocolate cookies are better... because chocolate... and also because the word "snickerdoodle" makes me gag, but yes, I think the cookies themselves are yummy.

      I didn't even know about snickerdoodles until my husband mentioned once that his mom made them for him when he was little, and then I seriously thought for the longest time that it was some wacky name his family made up because his parents definitely had some very odd names for things. And then, a few years later, I saw a pack of cookies in the Publix bakery labeled "snickerdoodles, and I was all, "WHAT?! They're real?!" Haha!

      KW

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  6. That's wonderful! I have had several friends do FOMAP and the results has been huge for them. I don't know if you plan to see the doctor again, but you might consider contacting her to let her know FOMAP is working for you. She may continue to suggest it to patients if she gets feedback that it works.
    Wishing you continued good health and a happy tummy,
    jenah

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  7. Easy 3 ingredient gluten free, high protein cookies that are delicious (not good for people with nut allergies):
    260g peanut butter
    200g caster sugar
    1 egg
    Combine (and add chocolate chips or other add ins etc) and dollop with a tablespoon onto baking tray, bake for 8-10 mins at 180 C. Enjoy. (Can be adapted to be vegan by replacing the egg with aquafar, applesauce or banana. Peanut butter can be substituted with almond butter. Caster sugar can be white or golden depending on taste). I like setting dark chocolate on the base of the cookies for extra yum!


    (I have hypothyroidism and what is currently diagnosed as *shrugs* fibromyalgia I guess, even though that doesn't really fit me that great and includes stomach symptoms. I will have to look into FODMAP!)

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  8. Coconut milk is a funny one for fodmap, but it's fine in small amounts. Still chicken & rice, but try 1/2c coconut milk infused with fresh ginger, lime juice, and a fodmap approved hot sauce poured over your chicken and rice. (Serves 2, 1/2c for one person shoves it too high for fodmap)

    I also really like to layer thin sliced lemons under and over chicken breasts and bake them.

    Cashew butter, hot sauce, and either a little chicken broth or a little coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice stirred together to make a sauce for hot rice noodles with roasted salted cashew nuts, shrimp, and your choice of fodmap veg. (frozen edamame *may* qualify and is what I especially like)

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    1. (Cashews are FODMAP...need to be tested first after elimination)

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  9. Jen,

    Chives have a wonderful oniony flavor and I didn't see them on this list. Try some chopped ones on your rice and chicken. They are easy to grow and you can get them dried in the spice aisle.


    Maureen


    P.S. It was great to see you in Pittsburgh!

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  10. My mother-in-law has been Low Fodmap for a few years now and this is the easy chart that I follow https://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/fodmap-food-list/ I haven't had too much trouble converting recipes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook 10th Edition (all of our favorite dishes come from there). None of the recipes have been ruined because I couldn't include the onions/garlic.

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  11. Good luck! If you can do peanuts, spinach, and rice, then add chicken to make a Chicken Spinach Peanut Sauce dish. I usually just wing it but I'm sure there are lots of recipes around. (And you know recipes are just suggestions or springboards for doing your own thing right?)

    On that note, I find the websitee "foodsubs dot com" very helpful for making substitutions. It's very, very extensive and cross-cultural as well.

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    1. Thanks for that tip! My best friend is allergic to coconut, and I have found so many recipes that I want to try that use coconut milk.

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  12. I recently discovered this diet as well. My Chiro recommended it since I was having so many intestinal issues. I started off with eliminating wheat & dairy and that alone was HUGE! I have been having slip-ups, but all in all, it is helping alot.

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  13. My BIL lives in a different state so I don't have to cook for him very often. He's allergic (severely) to onion and chocolate! It's funny how I scramble around when I do have to cook for him - for people who don't like onion all that much, we put it in everything!
    I took just a second to check, sure enough, Pinterest has about a million recipes if you search "low fodmap recipes". Some of them looked amazing! Good luck with your diet, I hope you continue to feel better and better!

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  14. I’ve seen fodmap recommended over and over again for relief from endometriosis symptoms. I’m hesitant to cut out EVERYTHING THAT I LOVE, though so I tracked foods and flares and cut out gluten. I feel a million times better...some gluten snuck in recently and I couldn’t believe I used to feel that bad basically all the time. Glad your diet change is working for you! Other gluten free products that I like are basically anything Schar and the Lance gluten free “ritz” crackers.

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  15. Hey Jen, I'm a registered dietitian and this is my favorite resource for low FODMAP diets: http://www.katescarlata.com/ . The author is a dietitian who specializes in IBS and other digestive issues because she has worked through them herself. Her blog (linked on her main page) has lots of low FODMAP recipes and snack ideas as well as product recommendations. She also has really handy checklists of what to avoid, what is ok to eat, and ideas for shopping lists. I'm glad you've found something that is working for you!!

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    1. I'm an RD too! Definitely ask for a referral to an RD if you need more direction; most MDs have so little nutrition training, I'm honestly surprised they had even heard of FODMAP (and not because it's new... because it's not, really).

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  16. One of the reasons I couldn't WAIT to grow up as a kid was because I hate, abhor, and DESPISE onions any anything like them (Shallots, green onions, chives, etc.) and couldn't wait to be out on my own and leave onion out of everything I cooked. I don't ever miss it. I buy one onion per year, for my family's Thanksgiving stuffing. Ahhhh the freedom of adulthood. Oh yeah -- I also get to leave walnuts out of my chocolate chip cookies. They make the skin peel off the roof of my mouth, but my mother never listened or remembered, and always made them with walnuts. (That last one is a first world problem, I know, but such a relief to me!)

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    1. Are you me? I also hate onions and anything onion-related, and grew up with a mother who used a ton in everything. She also loaded up her cookies with walnuts. Leaving the walnuts out of brownies and chocolate chip cookies as an adult has been so freeing. I do cook with onion on occasion, but where my mom would used 1 or 2 big ones, I use, like a quarter of a small one and chop it up super small. I always have to ask restaurants to leave chives off of things, too, otherwise I spend the first part of my meal scraping the top layer off of my food, or fishing green onions out of a salad before I can eat it.

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  17. This is exactly how I felt when the gluten-free diet started to pan out for me; I was so sick for MONTHS, and I'm sure my doctors thought I had some kind of horrible cancer. (Really, I had just developed a gluten intolerance and allergy.) I didn't really believe the doctor when he said that gluten was possibly the problem; "bread is my friend" I remember thinking. LOL.

    I guess I'm trying to say that I'm glad you've found something that helps; that feeling you get when physical symptoms start to subside WITHOUT expensive surgery or scary medication. I'm SO glad things are getting better for you.

    For anyone else going through this process of elimination diets; keep the faith. It's rough. I've been there, PERSONALLY. I'm not arrogant enough to say I know your struggle specifically, because everyone is different; our coping mechanisms, our symptoms, our recovery rate. But you really can get better, just be diligent with your diet, STICK TO IT (no cheating!), and give it time.

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  18. My husband has (had?) ibs-d for most of his adult life. He had to take a black box anti-diarrheal everyday that cost more than $400/month after insurance. When we moved, there were no doctors here who could prescribe the drug, but his new GI doc introduced him to the idea of FODMAPs. Some people just don't have the right balance of got flora. Then when you eat the foods that the bad gut flora love, it just gets worse. There's actually an antibiotic approved now that specifically targets the bad gut flora (Zyfaxin, I think?). You take one course to reset your gut, then follow the FODMAP diet to keep it right. Worked great for hubby-no more expensive drugs! And, if you feel like you're slipping backwards, you can do another course of the drug.

    But, here's the best part-not every FODMAP group is a trigger for every IBS sufferer! For example, my husband was able to add gluten, hard cheeses in moderation, and other dairy with Lactaid. Also, he can choose now when it's worth it to cheat. If we're just going to be around the house the next day, he might go ahead and have those refried beans with his taco. We found our air fryer to be awesome too. We can make parmesan or sesame crusted chicken tenders and a variety of sauces in no time.

    There's a lot of great advice and recipes on Kate Scarlata's blog. Congrats on finally finding something that helps!

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  19. Oh, Jen! Welcome to the IBS and FODMAP club! Last year I waited until I was in so much pain I couldn't work before I went to the doctor. Yes, I am a grown adult with good health coverage. I just hate going to the doctor. Over a month and a half of going to doctors and test after test after test (seriously -- not a single bodily fluid was left out) - they shrugged their shoulders and said "Maybe you should see a nutritionist." By this time my appetite was GONE, and I was on my own personal elimination diet because I was eating hardly anything at all. She introduced me to the FODMAP diet. Since I was already on the elimination diet I started re-introducing things. And I found, over the months, that I could eat anything. ANYTHING. However, I couldn't eat very much. For instance, no more buying a bunch of asparagus and then eating it slowly over a week. Nope. I could, however, have asparagus that was served as part of my dinner at a restaurant. Since I didn't have anymore after that, it didn't bother me. No more buying a bag of cherries and eating them during the week, for the whole season. But, I can buy a bag, eat it slowly (small amounts every day), and then skip a week or two and do it again. The increase in gas manifests, in me, as more burps. Stronger, louder. Which, all things considered, I will put up with and the people in my life will have to tolerate. AND -- no more intestinal pain. Aaaaahhhhhhh. I am so, so glad to hear FODMAP is working for you. It is a balancing act! But worth it in the end.
    Maureen S

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  20. I've been thinking my stomach troubles are IBS, and I've heard of the FODMAP diet, and I know I should try it. But I get depressed thinking about cutting out foods I love. I hate onion so that one is fine :P It's mostly wheat, avocado, mushrooms, lentils and chickpeas that are the issues for me. I live off those things (no hummus!?!?!).

    I've always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with food. On the one hand I love food and eating (who doesn't, right :P) But I've also struggled with body issues (I'm very large) and had an eating disorder as a teenager (I would try starving myself in the hope of losing weight, and when anyone noticed and made me eat, I'd often sneak off to go throw it up). Until I got to about 25 I used to avoid eating in front of people (so I wouldn't go out for dinner with friends). I still feel really uncomfortable if I go out shopping and have to eat in a foodcourt on my own. I know it's silly, but I can't help feeling like people might be judging me because of my weight (if I'm eating salad I'm sure they are all "good thing she's eating salad because she's fat" if I'm eating something else I feel they would be "she should be eating salad because she's fat" :P)

    So I find it really hard to deal with food, I'll wander into the kitchen to go have breakfast or lunch and try to think of something I should eat that doesn't include the foods I shouldn't eat. Can't think of anything, get depressed and walk back out again with nothing. I'll usually repeat that a few times :P And more often than not I just end up not eating anything because it's just too much trouble. If I do eat, I'll usually just grab some toast, which I know is bad, so then I feel guilty.

    I tried eating low carb (I found it alone didn't help). So I have a bunch of expensive fancy flours and such - But I found things like low carb bread and crackers unsatisfying in taste/texture, and I really don't like sweet things much so I found using almond and coconut flours made all the savoury foods too sweet. So many experiments went wrong :P I'm convinced that people who say cauliflower "rice" or "bread" is good must never have eaten proper food :P

    So I guess this is another reminder to give it a go. I guess I just need to find some really good recipes that inspire me and won't make me feel like I'm missing out on food I like.

    It would be nice to not have an embarrassing gurgly stomach all the time and such a close relationship with the toilet ;)

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    1. Oh wow, that part of wandering into the kitchen and not having any idea what to eat resonates HARD over here - that's been me for so long. Absolutely everything seemed bad for me, either because it made me hurt or was just unhealthy. I've only eaten 2 meals a day for years because of it: I go until I'm starving, because eating = pain & guilt.

      I'm still working through this myself, but I can tell you having just a few meals that I *know* are OK - that won't hurt later, are moderately healthy, but still taste good - is a life-saver. So maybe start with just a meal or two that's Low FODMAP, and work more in every week. (You may already eat stuff that qualifies!) Then if you're like me and feel better, it'll help keep you going. Believe me, the relief is worth it.

      Hugs & best of luck. <3

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    2. Yeah I rarely eat breakfast, and sometimes not lunch either - I had found something that I enjoy eating for breakfast and inspires me to eat, which of all the weird things is prawn dumplings (because I can set them to steam while I get a cup of tea and get ready - so they are easy). I figured they are reasonably healthy, but that's wheat, cabbage, onion and garlic - so a no no on FODMAP LOL I might have to make my own to leave some of that out, but the wheat in the wrappers would be a challenge.

      Maybe you should create an Epbot recipe book series where people send in their favourite recipes for different eating types (low carb, FODMAP, paleo etc.) - and you collect and publish them :D

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    3. Just a thought: the fabulous 'salad roll' or fresh spring-roll wrappers that Asian cooks/restaurants use for those lovely treats are rice-based, not wheat, and come in sheets that only need a quick softening soak in water before use, so they're both easy to use (once you get used to handling their gelatinous delicacy!) and possibly a perfect wrapper for dumplings. I assume you mightn't be able to steam them quite as long (or could you double-layer the wrappers? Just riffing, here), but you could either try that or have them chilled like the aforementioned rolls. Of course, there are all kinds of fabulous Asian rice noodles, too, and you could simply fix some of those with your favorite toppings. :) xo

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    4. Something that's helped me a lot with the 'wander into the kitchen and nothing seems safe to eat so just not going to eat' is making myself a list of safe things. Which can be a pain at first especially when you're still figuring out what is/isn't, and a mental strain especially if there's a history of 'ahhh food'. I took a couple hours one day and wrote down specific foods and meals that were ok for me to eat and grouped them by meal/snack/flavor types, and then wrote them down on a white board, and decorated it a little.

      Now when I wander into the kitchen I can go, 'I want something that's x&z', and I can just go to my list and pick out something from it without going 'will this make me feel ugh later?'. I don't have to try and remember what I have on hand because I make a mark by what I have in the house when i put away groceries, and I can add or remove things easily if I need to. And making it pretty helped me too - I can look at it and feel happy because I like how it looks and *I* did that and I've got encouraging sayings on it.

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  21. I'm allergic to alliums and particularly onions, so I know your pain. And my husband has celiacs, so we're tons of fun. I can't praise enough the America's Test Kitchen "How can it be gluten free volume 2" cookbook. You can get it used o and Amazon for around ten bucks and it is worth it! They are gf, have adaptions to make it dairy free, and the recipes work incredibly well

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  22. I haven't tried FODMAP (oh wow - all the things I love are forbidden!) but I've had digestive problems since I was a child. Just recently realized one of the things that messes me up the most is calcium. Yeah. So besides being off dairy, now I have to watch out for soy/almond/cashew milks that are calcium-fortified, which almost all of them are. But the difference in how I feel is worth it. I'm so glad you have found something that makes you feel better!
    To borrow (and mangle) a quote, all bodies are weird in their own way...

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  23. I did this last year for three months as an elimination diet. It worked wonders. Onion, apple, mango, all beans and lactose are all banned from my diet now. I have IBS-D and had my gallbladder removed. Once you're settled into the diet of you truly miss something (I'm looking at you mango) give it a go in small amounts at first. I can have some apple, a small glass of cider is fine, but nothing more than that. Glad you're getting some relief!

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  24. Yeah, I have Crohn's disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, AND endo! Last year I was hospitalized due to a Crohn's flare. All my arm veins were tapped out, so they put my iv into my neck. I left the hospital with a print out detailing what foods to stay away from, as they upset my Crohn's and could make flares worse. Among them was garlic. I joked with the discharge nurse that I was leaving the hospital :Paler, weaker, sporting a neck wound, and not able to tolerate garlic. The jokes write themselves people!

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  25. About 20 years ago after a very stressful life stage, I started having digestive symptoms. Long story short, I have since created a diet for myself that completely, 100% resolves all my symptoms.

    I can safely eat:

    1. any animal protein, both muscle and organ, including eggs
    2. butter, ghee, heavy cream, cream cheese, and pretty much any hard cheese
    3. any oil but I try to avoid the icky ones like soy and canola and focus on olive and avocado
    4. any non-starchy vegetable
    5. macadamia nuts
    6. stevia

    I have to completely avoid:

    1. any and all fruits
    2. any and all grains and flours
    3. any and nuts other than macadamia
    4. beans, including peanuts
    5. any and all natural sugars, including honey
    6. artificial sweeteners, including xylitol (well, can't ingest it but can brush teeth with it)

    It's very restrictive and keeps me in ketosis but to be able to be around people with fear of embarrassment is a priceless trade off!

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  26. After a brief google, it looks like low FODMAP would possibly allow for:
    ratatouille, beef or chicken fajitas without onions, Philly cheese-steaks using feta or hard cheese (no onions) on gf tortillas/lavash. Along the same line, possibly french dip on gf bread with no cheese? It says pork is OK, so BLT salads. Egg salad on a bed of lettuce (or cabbage). I'll sometimes make a big batch of "mufflets" (omelets in muffin tin) for breakfast once a week, and then keep them in the fridge all week and nuke as needed. The nice thing about those is you can completely customize for every person - peppers for you but not john, or tomatoes for him but not you, etc.

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  27. Glad you've found something that's working for you Jen!
    I've been "low-FODMAP" for 7 years now and it's still hard sometimes to have to miss out on things, or to have to bring your own food to gatherings, but the relief it brings is worth it.

    Couple of tips that might help you:
    If you're missing garlic or onion, you can either use infused oils or put a bit in the pan with the oil at the start, and remove the garlic or onion before you put anything else in... just to get the flavour. The fructans in the onion and garlic aren't oil soluble, so flavouring your food with them that way shouldn't cause any issues.

    Sue Sheppard helped to create the lowFODMAP diet. Her GF + low FODMAP lollies are AMAZING, and she also has some really good lowFODMAP cook books.
    http://shepherdworks.com.au/

    Monash university has a FODMAP app that you can use to help with shopping etc. which I highly recommend. It has a traffic light system for how high the FODMAPS are in each food, lists which FODMAPS it is high in, and gives information on how much of each food would be an amount that most people on the FODMAP diet can handle without digestive issues.

    And finally, I would recommend (if you can), seeing a dietitian who is knowledgeable in the lowFODMAP diet to help with the reintroduction of foods. I know the idea of reintroducing foods can be daunting, so having a dietitian to help guide you through it can definitely be reassuring. With luck, hopefully you'll find you only really need to avoid a couple of FODMAPS, and can add even more food back into your diet.

    Oh, and one final thought... The gut-brain connection has huge implications for mental health, so hopefully by calming your digestive track, you will also see improvements in mood and anxiety levels!

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that all goes well. Hopefully these tips help, and good luck on your lowFODMAP journey!

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    1. this is a very helpful post, thanks!!

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    2. Yes! I've been using the Monash app for a couple years now. It's a godsend. My husband also bought me The Quiet Gut cookbook. It's full of FODMAP-friendly recipes. I agree with you about the mind-gut connection; I've seen a vast improvement in my anxiety symptoms now that I don't have to worry about hospital trips, horrendous pain, or cyclic vomiting episodes.

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    3. Aha, I was going to jump in to recommend the Monash University app as well, but it figures someone else already did! ;) I saw a nutritionist who recommended this diet to me, but she thinks I am only sensitive to one of the triggers, so my diet does not need to be quite as restricted, but I'm still pretty rubbish at following it (esp. since gluten is out for me - and I'm already a vegetarian so it gets complicated) but when I was doing it right it helped a lot!

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  28. Off subject here, but you mentioned your past post about bad menstrual cramps - have you ever tried Raspberry Leaf tea? I started having horrid cramps after I gave birth and all the otc's didn't touch it. A friend recommended this tea and it is amazing - I started feeling relief halfway thru the first cup! And hurray for finding relief with the right diet - it's amazing what food can do for and to our body systems! I was able to control my Personal Tropical Vacations (hot flashes) & other issues during menopause just by identifying the triggers and eliminating them. I absolutely never want to take the lab-produced chemicals for perfectly natural body functions. Diet, homeopathy, herbal remedies, and essential oils are all I do now.

    Love from Kansas City,

    Martha

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  29. I want to second (third?) the recommendations about seeing a Registered Dietitian. Another related MD specialty you can look for is "Functional Medicine" which is all about gut health and how that impacts our overall health. It still typically involves dietary trial-and-error (because, as was pointed out, everyone's body reacts differently), but at least you have an experienced guide!

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    1. I second this -- look for a physician who works in functional medicine. (Even better, though incredibly rare -- look for a psychiatrist who does! I know a few, but unfortunately they're on the west coast...) Also second the recommendations for the Monash FODMAP app, and to consider getting tested for SIBO -- small intestinal bacterial overgrowth -- which a functional med provider would likely recommend. This is less of a binary, yes-you-have-it-no-you-don't-get-a-diagnosis, and more something that guides the very personalized realm of next steps. Best of luck!

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  30. My favorite FODMAP instagram! www.instagram.com/irritableeliza

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  31. I've done AIP and low FODMAP as well, also eventually low FODMAP AIP (yikes!). Eventually I was able to add somethings back and I'm sure you will be too, when you feel confident enough. Fruit is definitely tricky for me. Mr Engineer can eat 5 serves of fruit a day, no problem, but if I try that, I'll be massively regretting it in short order. It is nice when you figure out what works, in what amounts.

    I remember distinctly having a hell of a melt down when I was on AIP and was looking forward to a nice pan of roasted brussel sprouts as a treat (since you've been down this path, you know you have to find your treats where you can), but then breaking out in hives after eating a few sprouts. Being unable to even eat BRUSSEL SPROUTS as a treat made me lose it that day. After discovering low FODMAP eating, at least I knew why.

    If you haven't discovered it, the MONASH Low FODMAP app can be really helpful, especially at the beginning figuring out what to eat and avoid, then later when you are experimenting with groups of FODMAP to see which ones give you the most trouble. https://www.monashfodmap.com/i-have-ibs/get-the-app/

    Hold Fast, Jen!

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  32. Just out of curiosity, were you tested for Celiac, or tried cutting out just gluten? Just wondering because 2 of my primary symptoms when I have gluten are aching and digestion issues, which is what you mentioned above. I also itch and can have anxiety flare ups, but that's not true of everyone.

    I'm assuming you are well educated cause of how long you've had issues, but gluten is in wheat and barley and rye (which is where malt comes from), and can be cross contaminated in oats. Which means lots of careful label reading. Not entirely sure if all of that is covered by FODMAP, but wanted to throw it out there just in case.

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    1. No, wait, never mind. I just remembered that you tried that a couple years ago, and google confirmed it. Bummer!! I was hoping maybe you didn't have to give up garlic and onion after all.

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  33. I did it for nearly a year till I could add stuff back in. Totally life changing! I had no idea it wasn’t normal to schedule breakfast early enough in the morning that I’d have time to get sick before leaving for school. Ahhh little “me” was so stupid back in high school! Since we’re in the business of TMI now: glycerin suppositories. They are *actually* gentle since they don’t affect the entire GI. (Dulcolax.... I legit near passed out. Sweating, blacking out, couldn’t feel my limbs, and my hands curled into Dino claws. I couldn’t uncurl them for about 15 minutes.)

    A bowl of rice with an egg stirred in (tamago kake gohan) is an easy lunch. Also, sourdough is a life saver- if there’s no added yeast in the ingredients, it’s safe.

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  34. I have Crohn's and react to most processed foods to a point. I recently discovered that the raising agents in bread are a huge problem for me and have stopped needing to find a loo five to nine times a day since avoiding non handmade to the point where I can have it occasionally of I'm near a loo.

    I've come a fair distance though avoiding all emulsifiers, certain sweeteners, sulphites and bread product preservatives.

    I can sympathise with cost and eating out though - I'm ok for eating out as long as it's expensive and less fussy, as the cheaper stuff has more problem additives. Cooking from scratch all the time is a pain also. 😁

    Good luck with things settling and with any reintroductions - the GI tract has a huge impact on your life if its not working right! x

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  35. Glad the diet is helping! I would strongly suggest you go ahead and have the colonoscopy/endoscopy (called a 'spinner' :D ) to rule out esophageal erosion and check general bowel health. Also make sure you are checked for hiatal hernia since that is a pretty easy and life changing surgical fix. Prep is annoying, but procedure is great drugs and nap. And if everything is completely normal then you have a baseline to use for any future scans that need to be done. Nurse and patient both here, my recommendation.
    Also here is some great documentation on the Low FODMAP https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918736/

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    1. I disagree. I had a colonoscopy and screamed through the whole thing. Now it's time for another one, and I absolutely refuse to go through it again. They give you drugs, yes, but you don't fall asleep. I told my doctor I will never do it again (and I've given birth to four 9 pound babies naturally) and he allowed me to do a stool sample instead. Also, I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia years ago, but nothing was ever done to repair it. It's just something I have, that doctors either can't or won't do anything about, along with fibromyalgia, total body weakness, unexplained dizzines, high AND low blood pressure, panic attacks and agoraphobia. My life. It's just the way it is. Sometimes I hate it. Sorry. I've also had appenicitis twice, because although I only have one kidney, I happen to have had 2 appendixes. Go figure.

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    2. Dear Betty Martin! I am truly sorry for your suffering with the colonoscopy, never mind the litany of awful health issues you've endured in your life. The latter I can't imagine struggling through and I truly hope you'll find care and caregivers that allow you a much happier, healthier body and life. Your colonoscopy experience, however, I sincerely believe was a case of terrible mistreatment—first and foremost, in that your anesthetist and doctor didn't immediately redress what was obviously insufficient medication for your comfort (and therefore, also, safety). My own experience of colonoscopy was entirely the opposite, and I give full credit to the anesthetist for calibrating the precise dose of meds that allowed me to seat myself on the procedure table and 'assume the position' with little help from the doctor, and then have the most refreshing nap until waking up in recovery, with no memory of anything between, and no residual discomfort of any kind from the procedure itself. Nobody should have as miserable an experience as yours. I wish for you such care and compassion in future, leading toward the best of health.

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    3. Thank you Kathryn! I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you!

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  36. I'm so glad you've found something that works for you, Jen, but I'm sorry it took *so* long for your health professionals to figure it out! That really surprises me. The low-FODMAP diet was developed some years ago in Australia (by a former client of my firm, hee, that's my claim to fame), and so there are lots of specific FODMAP-friendly products on Australian supermarket shelves now. I'm sure you've searched for various recipe books to provide new meal ideas, but I'd recommend Dr Sue Shepherd's works for starters.

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  37. Oh dear. We don't have to go full low FODMAP, but I'm allergic to onions/shallots, Mom's allergic to cow's milk, and neither of us can have wheat, so ...

    According to what I'm seeing, certain cheeses like mozzarella and Havarti might be ok, which means my go-to packed lunch of deli meat and a slice of cheese rolled up together and then wrapped in a softened corn tortilla might work for you.

    I still haven't found a GF bread I consider worth the effort of chewing, but layered casseroles with thin sliced potatoes work really well. We also do a lot of frittatas for dinner, and one of our favorite veggie sides to make a big batch of and keep in the fridge is a ratatouille variant that's roasted in the oven with big chunks of veggies and whole cherry tomatoes (even better with mushrooms if you like/successfully reintroduce them).

    My very most favoritest condiment for getting allium flavor back in your food though, is making ghee and including an obscene amount of crushed garlic in the melted butter as it's slowly simmering to evaporate the water and precipitate out the proteins and sugars. You have to keep the temp pretty low to not take the garlic past roasted and into charred, but so good for frying eggs or making garlicky mashed potatoes.

    And for eating out, onion is ... everywhere. I usually manage to find something almost anywhere, but I definitely call the restaurant (a day or two before, during a slow time of day) if I'm going to be out with a group so I can interrogate a cook. Not whoever answers the phone, they think they know what's in the food by reading the menu, and menu descriptions are very much not ingredient lists (don't tell me I'll be able to have a quesadilla when I ask what's safe with a wheat allergy!)

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  38. Luck to you in your health journey. A friend of mine at work told me about FODMAP. An elimination diet to determine what triggers you. But after you figure that out, you do need to find a sustainable way of eating that can support you for life. I am a type II diabetic. I am very sensitive to gluten and grain. I gave that up a year ago. A couple months after that I gave up fruit- no sugars natural or otherwise allowed FOR ME. Then in December I started eating Keto and it was the BEST thing I’ve ever done. The most prominent thing that has improved is that after living with debilitating migraines for 42 years, I am now migraine-free for a whole year now. And I also do not have regular headaches either, unless I sleep wrong and then it’s a muscle issue which a quick rub will make it go away in 5 minutes. We are each different. Different foods affect us all differently. It’s well documented by functional doctors that Keto helps greatly mitigate if not resolve, Hashimoto’s. Living in Orlando you have access to functional medicine doctors. They are the ones that know what to test for to find the root causes of so many of our health issues. But the greatest thing to do is to stop eating boxed food, eat Whole Foods. Three ingredients or less. No grain, no sugar, and don’t try to keep the lie alive with gluten free boxed products. They are just a way to make the company more money riding the gluten-free gravy train. Low carb, high fat (only good fats, get rid of all vegetable oils-they are just industrial lubricants that the food industry has passed ifffor human consumption). Olive oil, coconut oil, butter, red palm oil, avocado oil. It took me 47 years to hit my bottom to realize what the crappy carbage was doing and to make me want to change. We all have our limits. We all hit different rock bottoms. And tolerate different levels of misery. You my dear have a very high tolerance. Check out Dr. Ken Berry’s Fb and YouTube channel for more information. Also Dietdoctor.com.

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  39. I hope the snickerdoodles I sent weren't a problem!
    And.... wow, no avocados? I'll have to figure out why. RESEARCH!

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  40. My MIL is on this diet. I wanted to make her a dessert that she could actually have, so I made this cake https://www.veggiebalance.com/flourless-double-chocolate-cake/. I found that the Kroger-brand dark chocolate chips were just "made in a factory that processes milk", no actual milk added to them. I subbed the almond milk for coconut milk, and used sugar not honey. It was pretty good, considering it was both gluten free and dairy free! (I also used margarine because a cousin is totally dairy free and I wanted him to be able to eat it too). It wasn't too hard to make, either. I had cut up fresh strawberries for garnish. I think you can also whip up coconut milk to make some dairy-free whipped cream, I didn't do it but I think it'd help too. :)

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  41. When I had to go soy-free, I found an online community of soy allergy sufferers, and that was a God-send! It was a group who'd already been living with the food choices that I needed to make, and I could ask any question that I wanted. Then I stuck around and gave as much assistance as I could.

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  42. My daughter is doing modified low-FODMAP, though for her the biggest thing was going to lactose-free foods as much as possible. She found an app from some university (she's not home, or I'd ask her) that helps you identify foods as low or moderate or high FODMAP. Wheat doesn't seem to be a huge issue for her, which is definitly easier. Best of luck to you, stomach issues are miserable.

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  43. Oh, and she's mostly given up soda. Partly because of the high fructose corn syrup, and partly because of the added carbonation (girl can already out-belch most frat boys) and she makes enough gas on her own when it's bad. Guessing you've already discovered that, though.

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  44. May I suggest a friend's website? She has many gut issues and has a couple of great books out, "The Pantry Principle" is how to read food labels. Her web site is
    www.theingredientguru.com I get no money because she is a good friend who has helped me curb my addition to sugar. Mira Dessy is her name, good food is her game.

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  45. My son was recently diagnosed, after years of pain and "elimination" so bad that he'd sleep in the shower, with ulcers of all things. He can't eat any fruit, but especially the skins. He can eat nothing with fiber, and he can't take any anti-inflammatory pain meds. And of course nothing spicy, gassy, or acid-y. I don't know if his diet is called anything in particular, but along with 3 medications he is feeling better, although he has to really watch what he eats so it doesn't flare up again. He's only 24 and doesn't have an ounce to lose and he's had stomach problems his whole life, and also was very sensitive to food additives as a child...if he ate cereal with dye in it for breakfast he was out of control all day, horribly, horribly out of control (I despared). Anyway, I'll tell him about FODMOP so he can see if it's something that might help him.

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  46. I am IBS-D my doc and dietician recommended it after several months of particularly bad symptoms. I found out that I am wheat intolerant and allergic to onion, with all the gluten free options the onion thing is much worse. Chicken salad or steak are my go to when out for dinner and I eat a lot more fish than I used too. Gluten free bircher is great for breakfast, you can just add what you fancy to the park base.

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  47. I have a friend who has all the symptoms of Celiac's disease, but the tests are negative. The doctor believes it is a sensitivity to GMO foods. Eating gluten-free helps, but she has discovered that when her mom uses non-GMO white (wheat) flour for baking, she doesn't have a problem. A co-worker has similar issues. She lives gluten-free so that she won't have the gut troubles, and all-over body rash that causes her to scratch until she bleeds. However, when she visits Europe, she finds she can eat anything - pasta breads, pastries - as the wheat is all non-GMO.

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  48. I’m so happy you found something that helps! I had zero tummy troubles until after I had 2 kiddos via unplanned c-sections, then all GI hell broke loose and full body discomfort followed. Tried every elimination diet, found that going dairy and gluten free helped but it wasn’t until I got pointed to low FODMAP that I was able to figure out my triggers, or why sometimes things wouldn’t bother me and sometimes the same thing would tear me up. After awhile of following it and taking supplements to heal my gut & reduce inflammation I know my triggers and can now get away with more, and if I know something is hard on me I take targeted digestive enzymes to avoid the worst of the symptoms I get from fructans, etc. I have to agree that the thing I had the hardest time with was avoiding garlic & onion - those along with tomato form the trio of pain for me but are SO delicious. Peppermint tea is good for spasmy discomfort, anise or fennel steeped into tea are excellent for releasing crampy gas. When I eat out I often prophyllactically take an OTC broad coverage enzyme supplement (I use a chain drugstore brand) in case I get cross-contaminated or bad info from a server. I try to get a variety of fermented foods to make sure I keep the good guys stocked. Hang in there, as you heal up it will get easier and you will find the balance.

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  49. Welcome to the FODMAP life - I've been doing this since September 2017 - I felt AMAZING within a couple days! I've tested reintroducing a few things, and I know I can have a little of wheat/onion now which makes eating out way less complicated, but now I also know to avoid pitted fruits and garlic if I want to sleep that night! It is a process, and it takes some thinking, but when you feel SO MUCH better it is worth the effort. The apps you can get for your phone if you want a handy pocket guide are worth the small fee!

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  50. My kids have been on an ultra low FODMAP Diet for years (6-7 years). Fortunately for us Oz has had one of the foremost researchers on IBS/Fructose Malabsorption for many years. While the diet was easy, it was educating people that was the hardest.

    Teaching our kids teachers that "fruit break" will occasionally have to be potato crisps has proven interesting. It seems almost impossible to get them to understand that my kids have ZERO problem with gluten, they can't have wheat because of the sugars...That today my son can have a cupcake, but that it limits what we give him for dinner so it balances out...

    Fortunately the food options have expanded - spelt pasta, Gf/lf biscuits, tomato sauce that doesn't contain onion or apple/pear juice (huh? whats that doing in tomato sauce). Lindt 80% chocolate.....mmmmm....

    One of our big Bakery chains started doing a Low FODMAP Bread this year (if all you can get is GF bread don't bother - learn how to make sour dough, and/or find Spelt flour... its so much cheaper, and more bready)

    I recommend Sue Shephards recipe books for anyone who want a low (but not very low) FODMAP diet. There is also an app - Monash University Low FODMAP DietTM app which I thoroughly recommend.

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  51. Hi Jen, I'm so glad you're feeling better.
    I recently discovered a lactose-free ice cream receipe for my daughter who is allergic.
    It's called nice cream and made out of bananas. SOOOO delicious and creamy and great in the summer heat. Just take a ripe banana cut in small pieces and freeze. Once frozen dump in the blender and mix. you can also ad frozen fruit or chocolate powder or cinnamon or whatever rocks your boat.
    We have been trying lots of flavours and there's a lot of ideas floating around the web.
    Give it a try, it's really good and surprisingly creamy.
    Thanks for having us in your life.
    Chris

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  52. Sorry if this was already mentioned, but there is a FODMAP app. It has a a comprehensive list of foods with a “traffic light” rating system so you can quickly see which to avoid. FYI - I find a can tolerate very small amounts of some foods with no symptom - e.g, last summer I was eating 15 sweet cherries at a time (supposed to be one of the best fruits, right?). After finding FODMAP I eat no more than 2 at a time. Glad you found it - it is really life-changing!

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  53. I have a friend who doesn't eat a lot of things on your list and he uses Asafoetida as an onion substitute. It smells funky, but tastes good and seems to be FODMAP free according to Google. Good luck!

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  54. Feed Me Phoebe!

    https://feedmephoebe.com/dietary/low-fodmap/

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  55. I love chicken salad with miracle whip and either lemon pepper vinaigrette or strawberry/raspberry vinaigrette. I usually add in some slivered almonds and mandarin oranges, and if I'm eating it right away (vs. packing a lunch) I often throw in a bunch of chopped romaine lettuce or baby spinach. The vinaigrette dressing gives you a fruity flavor without much fruit, and I find they're intense enough I don't need other seasonings.

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  56. I've heard that although onions are on the NO list, you can actually use onion powder for flavoring. I wonder if that's true. And if so, I wonder if you can use garlic powder too.

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  57. My mom went to a low fodmap diet about 2 years ago, and it changed her life! In the beginning she stuck to a very bland diet (there was alot of meals of just tapioca in the beginning) and she slowly added things in, one ingredient at a time, so she could determine her body's reaction to different things. And after about a year, she was even able to add store bought pasta sauce occasionally (with small amounts of onion/garlic)...etc.

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  58. I have undiagnosed gut issues, and while I’m in between doctors, I’ve been testing out the low FODMAP diet to see if it would help me. And it has! I’m rocking the elimination part of the diet, but I honestly can’t wait to add things back in because I want to see what I can eat again! Low FODMAP is super restrictive and not great for your health in the long term because you eliminate so many foods with good nutrients. I know it’s scary, but I encourage you to do the reintroduction part of the diet and see what foods your body can handle.

    I bought the book by Kate Scarlata, and I follow her blog as well. Her book has a ton of recipes. http://www.katescarlata.com/

    I also purchased the Monash app, which has everything that has been tested along with the correct serving sizes. It’s a godsend at the grocery store when I’m no longer trying to frantically google whether something is low FODMAP or not. And it updates every time they test a new food.

    No recommendations for take out here! I’m too afraid; I’ve just stayed at home, haha. But in terms of low-effort cooking, I do a lot of tuna salad, chicken salad, and egg salad sandwiches. I also make a bit ol’ pot of meatballs (ground beef/pork, egg, gluten-free breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese) in red sauce you make yourself so there aren’t any onions/garlic. Pair with the appropriate pasta and you’re all set!

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  59. Oh apples, I miss you so much! Suddenly became allergic to them six years ago and have been pretty sad since then.

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  60. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in March, I've been having all kinds of food issues. Food doesn't taste the way it used to, most of it tastes off or bad. I also have noticed an increase in gas. I might have to look into this FODMAPS thing a little closer

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  61. Many year lurker, first time poster. I have had stomach and bowel issues for almost 3 years now, and I finally was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. My gastroenterologist didn't recommend trying to go GF, after spending thousands on Crohn's medicines that helped but didn't solve the problem, eliminating gluten did the trick for me. If FODMAP works for you, stick with it. I couldn't give up onions, cherries and garlic, otherwise, I'd try it. I still get resentful that it is hard to eat out being GF. Just thought I'd plant the seed to see if perhaps Gluten Intolerance might be an issue for you too. Hope you keep feeling better!

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  62. Jumping in to comment, but I plan to re-read all the comments later. My daughter is on a low FODMAPS diet and we find the app by Monash University (in Australia - though we are not) to be super helpful.
    For onion flavor we do the green parts of green onions.

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  63. A few years ago, I bought "21-Day Tummy" which was put out my Reader's Digest. It uses the FODMAP premise, which I had never heard of. It explains what FODMAPs are, & includes a bunch of recipes. I had a lot of success with it, I also lost about 12 pounds. Later I purchased 21-Day Tummy Diet Cookbook, which has some info repeated in it, but lots of recipes. Good luck!

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  64. I'm glad you've found something that works for you!

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  65. I TOLD YOU TO TRY THE LOW FODMAPS DIET A YEAR AGO!!! (ok, sorry, no more all caps.)
    It made such a HUMONGOUS (darnit) difference in my life--I have IBS-D which is a royal PITA (literally) and after reading your symptoms last year, I posted and suggested it. Once I cut out those pesky polyols and fructans, my life improved 10000 times.

    I used to joke that I'd seen the inside of more dodgy bathrooms than a crack whore. I almost never see the inside of a dodgy bathroom anymore and better yet, I'm not wracked with gut aches, embarrassing put-put-put-put sounds and even worse, farts with friends.

    I do "cheat" on occasion with trigger foods and I find my symptoms are much less severe than before. Hopefully you'll get to the point where a little trigger won't make your guts so unhappy. I think changing how you eat also changes your gut flora and does help make it easier to digest certain foods if introduced a little at a time. I know there's also mounting evidence to suggest some mental health disorders are tied to functional gut and microbial imbalances in the gut--hear of the gut-brain connection? I think that's the last great unknown frontier.

    Another great resource (aside from Monash) is Kate Scarlotta's blog. She has a treasure trove of information on functional gut disorders like IBD and SIBO. I am pretty sure I suggested her to you as well... Here's the link to her blog. http://blog.katescarlata.com/

    Anyhow, I'm glad you're on the right path. I promise this is a fairly easy way to manage very frustrating symptoms. It's not a cure all, but I can share that I used to go from 5-7 bad IBS-D episodes a month (or more) to that in a year. (and those are usually in combination with a lot of stress and bad food decisions.)

    Good luck!!!!

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  66. My husband is a Celiac and was continuing to have stomach/chest pains on a gluten-free diet. Turns out he had SIBO...a low FODMAP diet (and an expensive antibiotic) later and he was a million times better. Sometimes he has to go back on it, but the temporarily restrictive diet is so much better than constant pain.

    We have used the eatingwell meal plans with success, but just make sure to double-check the ingredients. Also, the app "FODMAP helper" is a good quick reference when you are at the grocery store or out to eat. ��

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  67. I neglected to come back and comment promptly after reading... My hubby tried the low FODMAP diet last year (didn't impact whatever his issues are, but they're tricky and inconsistent) so I still have a collection of recipes. I agree with the previous comments that mentioned Kate Scarlata - her blog was very helpful. I also recall making burgers with either lettuce "buns" or gluten-free buns, and lots of potatoes. I liked this dessert so much I made it again post-diet...it works if you omit the M&Ms and use Enjoy Life chocolate chips: Monster Cookie Bars Best of luck and hope you keep feeling better!

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  68. I'm glad you've found a solution to your digestive issues. I have celiac disease and sometimes it can seem restrictive and annoying, but it is really amazing to finally know what was causing me so many issues and feeling better is totally worth making the dietary changes. Best wishes on exploring your new diet and finding new favorites!

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  69. Dang it, I found the wrong time to fall behind on your excellent posts here! I have been suffering from gut problems my whole life also, but particularly since spring of 16. If low FODMAP works for you, awesome—but if you have lingering symptoms, you might want to look into the Fast Tract Diet. It is similar in many ways, but there are some foods that are allowed on FODMAP that can ferment in your gut and cause problems for some. I have been combining that with the Gut Health Protocol to try and heal, not just manage symptoms, but I’m for sure still a work in progress.

    Anyway, some recipes that work for me:

    Low FODMAP Moroccan chicken (I cook this differently: I just sprinkle the spices onto chicken thighs then grill over indirect heat for 35-40ish minutes, then baste on the garlic-infused oil and grill until done)

    Sesame salmon (I just use the salmon marinade)

    Asian Beef and Zoodles (I leave out the garlic and hit it at the end with garlic-infused olive oil)

    Lime and basil beef kebabs (same—I leave out the garlic then hit it with the infused oil immediately after taking it off the grill)

    Pressure cooker Kalua pig (for this one, I fry the garlic in the rendered bacon fat and then take them out before adding the pork shoulder)

    Hope some of these might be things you like! I have been doing workarounds for our family's digestive issues/allergies for years, so just hit reply and let me know if you'd like more ideas!

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  70. I've been having a digestive issue over just the last few months, underwent a colonoscopy (painless this time), and had some testing: nothing found. Currently trying a probiotic (duh), and FODMAP will be my next thing to try. I've been low-carbing, and I see that all I'd have to cut out are a few veggies and my sugar-free mints. Doc thinks it could be SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and we're ordering a special antibiotic for that. I have hopes! So glad I remembered this post.

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