Reintroduction Phase

Why Less FODMAPs = Less Symptoms Is Wrong (Also, pizza!)

When someone asked me a question about low FODMAP pizza, I realized that no one ever talks about life after the FODMAP Diet. It's not about avoiding ever potential problem food; it's about finding your unique IBS triggers so you can have more freedom and get back to enjoying food again. Click through to get the free Test Food Tracker to help you find your triggers.

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During a group coaching session recently, one of my awesome clients asked if I had a great low-FODMAP pizza recipe. I said no because I only use ONE recipe: my favorite classic, chewy-crispy, stone-fired pizza dough.

“So what gluten-free flour do you use?” Another client asked.

When I clarified that I use regular all-purpose wheat flour for my pizza, minds were blown.

In that moment a light-bulb went on in my head: No one talks about life AFTER the FODMAP Diet. 

You might not know you can bring certain high-FODMAP foods back into your life because nobody bothered to explain it.

You might know about avoiding high-FODMAP food and  testing FODMAPs (i.e. the Reintroduction Phase), but what about the end goal of this process?

To put it plainly, less FODMAPs = less symptoms isn’t the full story. The end goal is to eat some pizza, or crisp apples, or ice cream - or whatever food you’ve loved and lost!

The end goal isn’t to restrict all high-FODMAP foods forever. The goal is learning your unique IBS triggers.

When you know your personal triggers and tolerance levels, you can... 

  • Bring back high-FODMAP foods that don’t cause your stomach issues
  • Know what portions of high-FODMAP foods trigger your symptoms, and eat smaller amounts of those
  • Stop avoiding “natural flavors” in foods that might have a tiny amount of onion or garlic
  • Go to restaurants and not shy away from every bit of wheat and lactose on the menu
  • Choose what you’ll eat based on solid knowledge of how food affects your body, instead of guessing and fearing the consequences

For me, this means my favorite pizza is back in my life - I learned wheat doesn’t trigger my IBS symptoms. Here’s what it means for some of my clients…


Testing FODMAPs and learning their personal triggers is how these ladies went from anxiety and restriction to having fun eating again.

And it doesn’t take tons of time or willpower to test FODMAPs. The key is to create your testing plan, set a date, and track your results.

In case you missed it, I designed a tool to make this quick and simple. Click here to get the FREE Test Food Tracker!

Avoiding every high-FODMAP food 24/7 is good when you use it for a purpose: Learning about your body and giving it a clean slate. Kind of like hitting the reset button.

But if you’re doing it with no purpose or end goal, you’re depriving yourself of a huge variety of food when it’s not necessary.

Going through the process and testing the different FODMAP categories is worth it because of what you get in the end: You know what triggers your IBS and what doesn’t so you’re free to eat without fear.

It can feel like discovering the FODMAP diet is what changes your life, but it’s not. 

Knowing your triggers is what changes your life - It breaks you out of food jail and leads you to freedom. And if freedom looks like pizza to you, you owe it to yourself to find out.

Leave a comment and tell me what you want your life to look like after FODMAP! Is the thought of eating high-FODMAP foods again blowing your mind? (and if you just want my pizza recipe, don’t hesitate to ask!)

Free To Eat is open for registrations NOW!

Join me and one group of fearless women on one transformational adventure.

Click here to learn more!

You’re Missing Out on Delicious Food (here’s how to enjoy eating - even with IBS)

You’re Missing Out on Delicious Food (here’s how to enjoy eating - even with IBS)

With the FREE Test Food Tracker, you’ll have the #1 tool you need to test FODMAPs and learn your unique IBS triggers. Imagine going to a restaurant and NOT experiencing that sinking feeling of anxiety as you read the menu. Click through and sign up to get the Free Tracker instantly! www.calmbellykitchen.com

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When you take away high-FODMAP foods and get relief from your IBS symptoms, it feels pretty amazing.

You work hard to eliminate every possible FODMAP ingredient from your plate so you can keep feeling good. 

You avoid going to restaurants whenever possible and turn down social meals.

You’re good at planning and cooking your own food, but the effort is exhausting and you wish you could just pick up pizza once in awhile.

It seems like you can count your “safe” foods on two hands, and stressing over every bite is wearing you down (or making you want to binge on Mexican).

Right now you’re missing out on delicious food, and you don’t need to be.

There’s a way out of this lonely, hungry place and it’s all about finding your unique IBS triggers.  

I’m here to tell you finding your triggers isn’t as difficult as you might think. It’s even a little fun, especially with this handy tool I created to help you along the way!

Click here to download your FREE Test Food Tracker!

Why Test High-FODMAP Foods?

You need to test FODMAPs for three reasons:

  1. Right now you know you’re sensitive to FODMAPs, but you don’t know which ones
  2. There’s a very good chance you can eat some high-FODMAP foods and still keep your symptoms in check - one study found only 33% of people with IBS are sensitive to fructose
  3. You’ll be able to have much more variety in your diet which is important for gut health...but also important for living life and enjoying eating again

Who Should Test FODMAPs?

You're ready to start the testing process (a.k.a. the Reintroduction Phase) if…

  • You saw an improvement in your symptoms when you eliminated FODMAPS
  • You discovered the other factors that contribute to your IBS symptoms (stress, sleep, hormones, etc.) during the elimination process - and learned how to handle them

If those statements describe you, you’re ready to bring back FODMAPs and learn your unique triggers!

Through the Elimination Phase you gave your body a clean slate. Now it’s time to learn what FODMAPs are the culprits for YOU specifically - and which ones can be part of your life again. 

The #1 Tool You Need to Test FODMAPs

When I coach people through FODMAP testing, we approach it like an experiment - You’re collecting data about your body in an organized process. 

In the end, you use all this awesome info to create your unique lifetime eating style so you can stop policing every bite and start enjoying food again.

Having a simple tool to track your food testing results is essential. Why? 

  • It lets you see patterns in how your body reacts to different FODMAPs. 
  • It clearly shows you how long it takes for symptoms to pop up - many people notice that it takes 1 to 2 days. This info is gold!

For every FODMAP category you test, you’ll start with a very small serving (so you’re never blindsided by major symptoms) and work your way up to a large serving.

As you go through the process you need to track the following:

  1. The test food and its FODMAP category
  2. Serving size
  3. Any symptoms you experience up to 48 hours (depending on your body) after testing 

You already know that FODMAP testing is the way to more food freedom - but it can be overwhelming, so I created a free Test Food Tracker that you can download and get started as soon as today!

It’s the same tool I use in my coaching program Free To Eat.

This Tracker is a workbook that you can fill out on your computer (just save it to your device and you’ll be able to type into it), or print it out and write on it!

As an extra bonus, I added a cover page that helps you design your personalized testing plan. There’s also a place to fill in your start date - Put it on your calendar and commit to it. 

Remember, it’s not healthy (for your body or your social life) to stay in a strict elimination diet for more than a few weeks. More importantly, it’s not necessary!

Download the free Test Food Tracker and start planning. If I’d never learned my unique IBS triggers, I wouldn’t have known it was okay to eat my favorite pizza dough again - wheat is NOT one of my trigger foods.

Having more freedom and less stress in my diet was totally worth the effort, and that’s what I want for you too!

 

Free To Eat is open for registrations NOW!

Join me and one group of fearless women on one transformational adventure.

Click here to learn more!

Top 3 Mistakes When Reintroducing FODMAPs

Top 3 Mistakes When Reintroducing FODMAPs

The Reintroduction Phase is when you test FODMAPs to learn what you can eat and what you should avoid to get IBS relief! As a health coach, I've seen all the mistakes that can happen in this crucial, phase. Click through to read the top 3 mistakes and how you can test FODMAP foods without making them!

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Most of my health coaching clients are fearful of mistakes when they first get started with the FODMAP Diet and take food away (aka the Elimination Phase).

While this first part of the diet takes some getting used to, I see more mistakes happen in the crucial testing process (bringing foods back in to find out what you can eat and still keep your IBS in check). 

If you've come up against any of the snafus listed below, don't feel bad! This part of the FODMAP Diet has a learning curve, but it shouldn't take a PhD in food science and the steely resolve of a navy SEAL to get your FODMAP situation sorted.

So to de-mystify this whole process, I want to dig into the biggest mistakes I've seen and how to avoid them.

>>> I also created a FREE tool to help you test FODMAPs and track results quickly and easily so can find your unique IBS triggers. Click to get the free Test Food Tracker!

Mistake #1: Getting hung up on the details 

Sure, it’s okay to have questions (I guarantee you’ll have questions!) about the testing FODMAPs, but don’t spend too much time thinking about every little thing you could do wrong. 

Common worries:

Not eating the correct amount of a test food - The amounts are guidelines, so you don’t have to measure down to the gram. If you’re testing ¼ cup of onion, yes it’s okay to use 1 cup of onion in a big ‘ol stir fry and eat about one-fourth of it.

Raw or cooked? Canned or fresh? - It depends on the food, but whatever you choose to test with, be consistent. If you’re testing lactose, don’t have yogurt one day and drink milk the next.

What if I don’t like the test food? - You’ve never eaten a mango in your life and you don’t plan to start now. That’s okay, but you’re not testing mango, you’re testing fructose. (If that just blew your mind, stick with me.) Mango is a great test food because it contains high levels of fructose and no other FODMAPs. Your reaction tells you if your belly gives fructose the thumbs up - or not so much.

Mistake #2: Giving up too soon 

What happens if you test a high-FODMAP food and the results don’t make sense? There are lots of possible reasons for this (work stress, anxiety about symptoms, your period, other foods...). If this happens, you haven’t hit a brick wall - you can just retest it. 

This is a part of the testing process that doesn’t get talked about much! Don’t worry, most of my clients don’t test foods multiple times. But once in awhile your symptoms go wonky - maybe your belly rumbled like crazy after a smidge of garlic, but you had no issues when you indulged in a big scoop of garlic-y marinara sauce. 

If the data doesn’t add up, it’s not a danger sign that you should give up and abandon garlic forever. You either test again right away, wait till later, or even try another test food in the same FODMAP group. Easy!

Mistake #3: Expecting an instant reaction

You might have symptoms within a couple hours of eating a test food. Bloating (and pain that results from distention) can happen relatively quickly. But gas and diarrhea or constipation may not hit you until food reaches the large intestine that night or the next day.

Gut transit times are different for everyone, so that’s another thing to consider.

If you test honey and feel great the rest of the day, you’re in the clear, right? Maybe. You may have read that it’s wise to test a high-FODMAP food on consecutive days, but I've seen better results for my clients when you give it more time and keep track of how YOUR unique IBS symptoms tend to play out.

BONUS Mistake!

This happens BEFORE you even get started, so I'm calling it a "bonus," and this is it: Waiting until you’re symptom-free to start finding your IBS triggers. This might turn out to be the most important thing you take away:

It’s okay to test FODMAPs even if you have IBS issues occasionally. Most people do NOT have all their symptoms disappear completely even when they avoid FODMAP foods 24/7. So how do you know if the food you’re testing is causing symptoms or if it’s something else entirely? 

The answer is that you’ll figure it out as you go. Just like you identified IBS culprits and learned to manage them when you first got started, you’ll see how your body reacts when high-FODMAP foods set you off.

The only way to learn to ride a bike is to hop on and pedal. Same’s true for testing FODMAPs. 

The effort is worth it because of what you get in the end: You know what you CAN eat and what to avoid so you can stop policing every bite and start enjoying food again!

To get started with testing FODMAPs, click here and I'll send the FREE Test Food Tracker straight to your inbox!

How FODMAP Changes Your Life - Client Success Story!

How FODMAP Changes Your Life - Client Success Story!

Click through to read how the FODMAP diet works in real life! Kate was a busy teacher who wanted to enjoy social meals without the anxiety of IBS symptoms. Read her Behind the Belly Story of how the FODMAP diet helped her reach her goals, including eating Mexican food again!

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The whole point of the FODMAP diet (the proven diet for managing IBS) is to give up food and feel better, right? Wrong.

Nope, the point of the FODMAP diet isn’t just having a calm belly. It’s about having the freedom to do anything you want:

  • You hike through Yellowstone for a week
  • You watch the Mets play the Yankees and stay for extra innings
  • You go to your best friend’s destination wedding with zero diet stress

I know most of you don’t need to spend a week in a national park to feel freedom from food (But if that’s you, it’s totally do-able!). Most of you just want to go to a fun friend meal (preferably Mexican) without anxiety.

That’s what my client Kate wanted. She knew just eliminating every possible IBS trigger wasn’t going to solve her problem - being able to eat and enjoy social meals. Read her Behind the Belly Story!

The Before

Before Kate came to me, she eliminated FODMAPs and felt amazing, totally symptom free. But she knew she was in food prison (living on rice and rotisserie chicken and seriously missing her favorite Mexican food) and that had to end fast.

As a crazy-busy high school math teacher taking on extra classes, she had zero time to become a FODMAP expert.

Meet Kate!

Kate Sneed did 1-on-1 coaching with me starting in January. She lives in Denver, CO and in our first session this Denver Broncos super fan realized she’d signed on to work with a New England Patriots fan. Luckily, we hit it off anyway and got straight to business!

Kate’s “Screw this!” moment happened at a tailgate party when some tasty chips and salsa sent her belly into a tailspin and she had to do the mad port-a-potty dash.

She had no clue if it was A) the onions, B) the garlic, C) the tomatoes, or D) something else going on in her gut that triggered this awkward moment. She knew she needed to learn more about her body before she’d be free to eat without fear.

Key results Kate was looking for:

  • Learn which FODMAPs set off her IBS instead of just guessing
  • Be able to go to a meal with friends without anxiety about what to eat
  • Get a lot more food variety back into her life because packing the same lunch everyday was making the snacks in the teacher’s break room way too tempting

Kate not only tested all the FODMAP groups, she also satisfied her food cravings for pulled pork and homemade brownies by trying the new recipes I gave her. She even had a great time on a girls’ wine tasting weekend without any major symptoms.

Let’s hear the scoop from Kate!

Julie: Where were you in the FODMAP diet process when you started working with me?

Kate: I had been doing elimination for a little over a month. I was not having any symptoms and ready to figure out what was causing issues a month earlier.

Julie: What made you decide to work with a FODMAP coach?

Kate: Your blog and website provided me with so much information when I was researching FODMAPs. Also that it didn’t matter that you were not in my town!

Julie: What are one or two surprising things you learned?

Kate: That honey is not my trigger but that onion and garlic could have such a nasty effect on people- who knew! Also that sugar can be stored in so many different types and that my body can react differently to each one!

Julie: Did coaching make the FODMAP Diet easier? Tell us how.

Kate: So much easier- I was overwhelmed by how to reintroduce and the portion size and how to increase the amount of something, etc. The weekly plans made it so easy to just pick up a certain food at the store and know how much of it to try and what to do based on what happened! I didn’t have the time to spend hours researching or figuring it out from different books or websites.

Julie: Now that you're done with coaching, how is your life different?

Kate: I feel so much more confident about eating out or with friends. I know what to expect- before I had no idea what meal would set me off and what wouldn’t- it was an experiment every time. Now I know if I decide to eat something at a meal that is a trigger that I will have a reaction and I can make the choice instead of waiting to find out!

Kate got the results she wanted from her time together with me and you can too!

Click here to secure your spot for the All-Inclusive 1-1 Coaching Package

My 1-1 program isn’t just about finishing the FODMAP Diet - It’s about helping you enjoy food and be in control of your symptoms for life.

When I followed up with Kate a few months after working together, this is what she said:

“Things have been great! I am so happy I did this!”

I currently have 1 spot available for new clients. Click here to grab yours.

You’ll get the exact results you want in the simplest, most stress-free way possible and be finished with the FODMAP diet in 4 months.

Let’s get you back to enjoying food again!

Client Success Story: Reintroducing FODMAPs and Training for a Half-Marathon

Client Success Story: Reintroducing FODMAPs and Training for a Half-Marathon

Reintroducing FODMAPs is the second and crucial phase of the low FODMAP diet. Read how one of my clients tested her fodmap tolerance, learned her trigger foods and trained for a half marathon all at once. Now she can cook great meals both her and her husband love and she has to the freedom to eat at restaurants because she knows her trigger foods. Click through to read her interview and success story!

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I read health and fitness magazines for new workout ideas, but my favorite articles are always the reader success stories. Workout advice is great, but I gain so much more insight from seeing that Jane Jones from Seattle does 30 minutes of interval training 3 times a week.

That’s why I’m so excited to share the success story of one of my FODMAP Coaching clients with you! Her story shows what life ACTUALLY looks like when you reintroduce FODMAPs, even with a lot of work and life commitments.

AND that you don’t have to eat a boring, depressing diet (kale and rice I’m looking at you). Suzy tried new saucy Asian stir fries and experimented with polenta so she never got bored. But that's getting ahead of ourselves!


The Before

Suzy did my Reintroduction Roadtrip 1-on-1 coaching program earlier this year. For 6 months, she’d been living on mostly water and air (okay, it was more like basic salads with olive oil and lemon) in the elimination phase.

She loved not being bloated and constipated, but knew she couldn’t go on like this forever. She wanted to get back to cooking meals both she AND her husband wanted to eat. Read her Behind the Belly story!

 

Meet Suzy!

Suzy Remmert lives near Austin, Texas, and works in a salon/boutique. Suzy was in the middle of training for a half marathon with her husband. It was going to be her first one, and she and needed her belly to be calm and fueled up not only for training, but for race day!

 

Combine her high-protein needs with her limited food groups and she stuck in an unappetizing rut.

 

Even though cutting all the high-FODMAP foods - garlic, onion, beans, dairy - tamed the IBS beast, she thought she’d be stuck on...

A) A joyless diet FOREVER

B) Randomly testing high-FODMAP foods out of boredom and risking her health

C) Not being able to hit her physical goals because of poor diet

Being stuck in the elimination phase didn’t feel like much of a win, but Suzy didn’t have hours or days to spend becoming an expert on the reintro phase. And she definitely didn’t want to jeopardize all the race training she was doing.

 

Key results Suzy was looking for:

  • Finally figure out what foods were making her bloated and constipated.
  • Be able to have fun at social events and enjoy her workouts without feeling like crap.
  • Go out to dinner and enjoy it fully since she knows what and how much to eat.

 

Let’s hear the scoop from Suzy!

Julie: Where were you in the FODMAP diet process when you started working with me?

Suzy: I had been doing the elimination diet for 6 months, feeling frustrated and so defeated and alone.

Julie: What made you decide to work with a FODMAP coach?

Suzy: I had seen several dietitians and none of them were knowledgeable with the FODMAP diet or had been able to help me at all. I was literally at my wits end.

Julie: What did you hope to accomplish through coaching?

Suzy: To find out how to reintroduce foods correctly with as little discomfort as possible. Also, to get more recipes and have more selections and not feel so deprived.

Julie: How did coaching make the reintroduction process easier?

Suzy: By walking me through step by step and explaining the process. Also, I would not have known that after testing a food and having no symptoms that I still needed to keep it out of my diet till I was completely done with reintroduction.

Julie: Now that you're done with coaching, how is your life different?

Suzy: I feel so much better tummy wise, but also emotionally. I feel more confident with my food choices, and that I do have control in feeling better. I have a ton of recipes to chose from and I feel more confident in the kitchen.

Julie: What would you say to anyone considering coaching?

Suzy: I definitely think [FODMAP] coaching is worth every penny. The Fodmap diet is extremely confusing and overwhelming, having someone that understood it and was able to guide and educate me through it made all the difference in the world.

 

Here’s how Suzy summed it up in a post in the Calm Belly Kitchen Facebook group:

 

 

Suzy got the exact results she wanted from her time together with me and you can too.

 

Click here to move forward with FODMAP Coaching!

 

It will get you there in the fastest, simplest way possible. I’ll work with you 1-on-1 and customize the FODMAP reintroduction phase to fit your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a foodie who loves Italian or a Triathlete who needs protein, I’ll make sure you, your belly, and your kitchen are all working together.

 

What life is like after:

  • Learn what FODMAPs trigger your symptoms and in what portions so you can go back to eating the ones that don’t.
  • Eat at restaurants and social events without monitoring the distance between you and a bathroom at all times.
  • Stop spending a fortune on “special” food because everything else contain “less than 2% natural flavors” (translation: probably garlic).
  • Be able to travel to exotic places and eat on the road without stress (and if you’ll be traveling during the reintro phase, we can make that work!).

 

Click here to learn more about the Reintroduction Phase (and bust some common myths!). 

If you're not sure it's time to take the plunge, read 5 Signs You're Ready to Reintroduce FODMAPs!