Mindset

7 Truths About the FODMAP Diet Plan (I Wish I'd Known 4 Years Ago!)

Read the 7 things I wish I'd known when I first started the FODMAP Diet because I don't want you to be the hot mess that I was when I was figuring it out on my own! #fodmap #ibs #calmbellykitchen

Like many of you, when I first heard about the FODMAP diet plan as a way to change my own IBS symptoms, I was overwhelmed. Not just with all the information out there, although that definitely was the case. Sometimes, it was overwhelming how much I didn’t know.

Four years ago, there was very little information to go on, no explanation of the nuances. Suddenly having to change my diet overnight felt very difficult and complex, with no guidance on how to make it work in a practical sense.

There's more info out there now, but I think people can still relate to what I experienced. Also, a lot of the current information is still conflicting or out-dated.

I had to forge my own path. And a huge part of why I do what I do is that I believe that you shouldn’t have to do that to change your life for the better! 

(Which is why I started Calm Belly Kitchen!) 

Looking back on it, there’s so much I wish I’d known before I started. So many tips and tricks and even affirmations that would’ve made this whole thing a lot smoother—and a lot less emotional. 

I've also asked members of the community what they wish someone had told them when they first started out with the FODMAP diet plan. Many of the answers lined up with my experience!

So today, I'm going to share the things that I wish I knew when I first started. Hopefully, you’ll find this useful, no matter where you are in your journey.

#1 Onion and garlic are not absolutely essential for flavor

It seems like such a minor thing now, but this was definitely my number one source of anxiety and fear and stress when I started to grasp what the FODMAP diet really entailed. All those recipes I relied on would have to be modified or thrown out—and at first, I had no idea how to even begin. 

(This is also one of the biggest struggles that I hear from folks who send me emails, easily in the top three questions that I receive!) 

For years, I made my living as a recipe developer. I love food, and own an embarrassing amount of cookbooks! And I can tell you that giving up onion and garlic is not the end of the world.

Sure, it’s an adjustment, but it’s not impossible. While I, personally, can tolerate a bit of onion, I don’t do great with garlic, and I don’t really keep either of them in the house. It’s worth it, to me, to see the success of following the FODMAP diet plan in my own symptoms. 

In a way, whether it’s onion, garlic, or any other food, it really won’t be as bad as you think, giving it up temporarily or even for longer periods of time. I promise. 

You can check out this ultimate guide for other ways to flavor food that won’t trigger your IBS!

#2 A major diet change is hard, and it will take you time to get in your groove

Okay, I know I just said that giving up some foods isn’t the end of the world. And it’s not! But any major lifestyle change means changing all of your patterns—even ones you might not be aware you have. It will take time. It doesn’t happen overnight. 

Doctors love to give you a little two- or three-page handout that makes it seem super easy to just completely overhaul your diet overnight, but the truth is, not many people can just turn completely change the way that they cook, shop, and eat in one day. 

You have to be patient with yourself. You have to give yourself time (and grace!) as you begin the process. 

Even though I had cooking skills and already was a healthy eater, I couldn't turn it around overnight. I needed time to get comfortable with the changes in my eating habits.

Whatever you do, don't let beginner overwhelm hold you back from starting.

Just know that it's going to take time to get comfortable, and it's okay to be to be stressed about it when you start. If you mess up, that's okay! Don't beat yourself up—keep going.

#3 Eating in a social setting is less of a big deal than you might think

A lot of people ask me this one, especially as they start to really think about how often we all eat in social settings—restaurants, work lunches, family meals.

When you can control the food, things tend to work fine. But when other people are cooking? That can be a little stressful. 

I get it. 

If you’re worried about how the changes in your diet will affect eating out at restaurants—whether it’s asking for order changes or worrying about being judged for what you put in your face—that’s normal. 

No matter how much we worry that other people are judging us, people are always more concerned about what they are doing, than what other people are thinking. It’s just our nature! We’re all a little self-centered like that. 

And if someone does give you grief or side-eye for swapping your asparagus for a side salad? Then they really need to find a hobby. 

What you eat isn’t a judgement, or critique, of anyone else’s eating. Refusing a food, making healthier choices, these are all worth it, to make your body feel better. 

Prefer to watch? Check out the video below...

#4 You really do need to listen to your body

If you’ve spent any time on this site, then I know you’ve heard this one before. But it’s absolutely true. Listen to what your body is saying—not just with the food, but with all of it. 

The great thing about making this kind of diet change is that you have this really excellent opportunity to learn about all the other factors that affect your digestion, besides just the FODMAPs. When you take those away, you start to listen to the other little messages your body is sending. 

For example, stress is a big deal for me. It messes with my stomach. Now I can hear that message more clearly, and adjust my lifestyle accordingly. 

Another thing I learned was that adjusting the overall volume of food I was eating helped with my symptoms. I was just giving it too much to do! Eating smaller meals, letting them digest well, allowed my body to tell me, hey, you’ll feel less bloated and heavy and gross. 

For many of my clients, I often hear that their period sends them a huge message, thanks to fluctuating hormones! As you can see, all of these non-food factors can affect your gut.

Listen to them. 

Every body is different. What’s yours telling you? 

#5 Sourdough bread is your best friend

For those of you who love bread, this one is really exciting. 

(What? Bread is exciting! Especially bread that’s safe and delicious!)

This wasn’t even established when I was first beginning my FODMAP diet journey, but within the last two years, Monash has tested sourdough bread and found that, because of the slow fermentation process, sourdough bread has an extremely low FODMAP content. 

The only catch is that it MUST be made using a traditional slow rise process.

Luckily, it’s easy to tell if sourdough is indeed slow rise: Check the ingredients. If the sourdough bread contains yeast or enzymes, then it was not made with the slow rise method.

Traditional slow-rise sourdough requires just three main ingredients: flour, water, and salt. Instead of yeast, a “starter” causes the bread to rise. This happens when natural bacteria occurring in the air slowly ferments by consuming the FODMAPs and other carbohydrates in the flour. This produces gas, which creates the rise in the bread. 

Great news if you’ve been missing bread!

#6 You really do need to reintroduce FODMAPs by category

Like most of us, I spent a long time on the elimination phase of the FODMAP diet. Because I was feeling better, and seeing a reduction in my own symptoms, it felt really comfortable just to stay in that highly restricted zone. 

And yet it’s really important to test foods and reintroduce them—not just because it’s healthier to have more variety in your diet, but also because that’s the only way you’re going to know your personal FODMAP tolerance levels.

One thing I learned when I did finally reintroduce FODMAPs is that I have a pretty high tolerance for wheat. I can still eat my homemade pizza and croissants, and for me, that’s amazing. 

On the other hand, I used to love making sweet potato fries, but now I can only have a few bites. A bigger serving of sweet potato makes my stomach feel heavy and creates unpleasant symptoms the next day. And there’s no way I would’ve known that without reintroducing FODMAP categories one by one. 

You might be taking a risk with a certain food during this phase, but the knowledge you will gain will be priceless. 

#7 You won’t always feel deprived!

When we talk about diet changes, there is always this lingering worry, this fear of deprivation. 

And it makes sense: We’re taking away a lot of common foods that are in favorite dishes, at home and out in the world. It’s a huge adjustment, looking at food in this new way. 

Yes, it will absolutely feel like an adjustment. You’re definitely going to hate taking away some foods—but eventually, the feelings of being so healthy and feeling so much better and feeling empowered will begin to outweigh the difficulties. 

You may still experience IBS symptoms. That’s totally normal. But overall, you will feel so much better, because you’ll finally have control over how your body feels. 

And those are my top seven items I wish I’d known before starting the FODMAP diet!

They’re definitely truths for me, and ones I hear from my clients as well. I hope that they can empower you to begin your FODMAP journey.

If you're in that place of overwhelm...

sign up for our Free 7-Day Calm Belly Challenge. This mini course helps you set the foundation you need to succeed on FODMAP.

Because you deserve to have a calm belly too!

5 Surprising Ways to Improve Digestive Health (Right now!) on the FODMAP Diet

5 Surprising Ways to Improve Digestive Health (Right now!) on the FODMAP Diet

You might know about taking high-FODMAP foods out of your diet, but did you know there are strategies you can use to improve digestive health even MORE? Learn the top 5 surprising ways you can calm your belly FAST and feel better than before.

How to Manage Holiday Eating (& beat stress) on the FODMAP Diet

Learn 5 tips for holiday eating on the fodmap diet, and 3 ways to manage stress. Keeping your IBS in check while enjoying Christmas and Hanukah celebrations is possible! Click through to read more! #fodmap #IBS

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The holidays are right around the corner. That often means busy schedules, travel, long to-do lists, and plenty of festive food. 

This is all GOOD stuff, but it can also make sticking to the low-FODMAP Diet harder. Luckily, there’s a way to set yourself up for success, even if there’s a house full of Christmas candy calling your name.

To avoid having IBS get in the way of your holiday fun, you just need to plan ahead.

There are two key areas to focus on if you want to feel great throughout the holidays: Smart eating and stress management. 

I talked about each key area in its own edition of Calm Belly TV, my live show I stream on the Calm Belly Kitchen Facebook page. You can also read the tips and strategies below.

You don’t need to use every single tip! Cherry pick the ones that speak to you and your situation. If you want to learn more about any of these tips, be sure to watch the video.

You also don’t need to spend much time creating your plan. Here's what I recommend:

  • Write down the strategies you’ll use (be specific about how and when you’ll put them to work)
  • Include any of your OWN strategies and stress-busting techniques that have helped you in the past
  • Look over your list in the coming days--especially before any big events--so you put your planning into action

By the way, these tips work ANY time of year when you need a little extra help, not just in December!

Top 5 Tips for Holiday Eating on FODMAP

  1. Take a break - If you’re doing the reintroduction phase, pause your testing over the holidays; if you’re doing the elimination phase it’s okay to take a short break to enjoy some of your favorites. Remember moderation and then get right back to eating low FODMAP.
  2. Be selective - Choose the one or two high-FODMAP foods you love most at parties or special occasions and eat a small serving without feeling guilty. 
  3. Eat strategically in your downtime - Eat low-FODMAP day before, the day of, and day after a holiday event. Taking a little extra care makes room to enjoy those higher FODMAP favorites in moderation.
  4. Eat turkey (or whatever protein is being served as the main course) - Any type of large roast is a smart choice. Eat an “inside piece” if you think it’s been seasoned with high-FODMAP ingredients.
  5. Bring dessert - You’ll likely have some options to choose from in the main meal (see #4), but dessert can be tough and missing out isn’t fun. Search Pinterest for low-FODMAP or gluten-free versions of things like pumpkin bars, cranberry crisp or bars, brownies, and cookies. Note that gluten free desserts are not always low-FODMAP; however, they will not contain wheat which is the main high-FODMAP ingredient found in many desserts. If you love to cook, bring a side dish too! 

Watch the video to learn more!


Top 3 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Tip #1 - Remind yourself that the people who love you want you to feel good.

This small mindset shift takes care of the stress that can come up around social meals. If you find yourself fielding questions about your food choices, remember that it's coming from a place of concern and curiosity, not disapproval or anger. 

Still awkward? Memorize a go-to response to explain FODMAP: For example, “Certain types of carbs cause digestive problems for sensitive people, so I’m cutting them out of my diet for now.”

Tip #1 also helps when feelings of guilt come up because you’re not following a certain food tradition, or you fear disappointing people by changing the holiday menu.

Tip #2 - Organize a non-food activity to have fun and spend time with loved ones.

For example, build a snowman with your kids or go hiking instead of baking 5 batches of cookies.

When food does play a part in social events, shift the focus to something else like a game or a craft project everyone can participate in.

Tip #3 - Lean on your go-to meals more than ever.

When you’re busy or stressed, don’t make meal planning yet another item on your to-do list. Instead, rely on the handful of meals that are familiar and friendly to your digestive system to keep IBS symptoms in check. Give priority to meals that provide leftovers to help you save time. No need to test drive new recipes or make something from scratch every night.

Watch the video to learn more!

These are my top tips that I've seen work for clients who I'm coaching through the FODMAP Diet. But I bet you have more tips of your own, so use them all! 

The specific strategies don't matter as much as staying consistent, taking a few minutes to plan ahead, and remembering what works for YOU so you can repeat it.

What is the end goal of the FODMAP Diet?

The goal of the FODMAP Diet is not to eliminate certain foods forever. Learn how to use the diet as a tool to have more variety and more control over how your body feels. Click through to read the full post (or watch the video!).

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The FODMAP diet is sometimes called a journey, yet the end goal of this "journey" is a vague and shadowy place. 

It's a lot easier to explain things that are black and white, like taking FODMAPs away. But since life AFTER the FODMAP Diet looks different for everyone, it's a lot less clear cut.

You wouldn't start off on a journey without a destination (or at the very least, a certain transformation) in mind. So today we're looking at the big picture of the FODMAP Diet, or the true end goal.

Knowing what you get in the end makes it a whole lot easier to work hard and persevere.

Hint: the end goal is NOT to give up all high FODMAP foods forever.

Watch the video to go deep on this topic, or read the key points below!

KEY POINTS:

The FODMAP diet is not a lifetime diet.

You shouldn't stay on it indefinitely because:

  • It's nutritionally restrictive

  • It's socially restrictive

  • And (most importantly) it's not necessary

So what's the end goal?

To put it simply, it's to have control over your symptoms, NOT to eat as few FODMAPs as possible.

Less FODMAP = less symptoms isn't the whole story.

If you're taking away food with no specific purpose, you're causing yourself more work and more deprivation.

The goal of the elimination phase is to:

  1. Confirm you're sensitive to FODMAPs

  2. Hit the reset button on your body

  3. Learn what other factors play a role in your digestive symptoms

Once you've done that it's time to move to the next phase which to test your personal tolerance to specific FODMAP categories. From there you take all the awesome knowledge you've gained and create a lifetime eating style.

Still not convinced? At this point you've taken away all FODMAPs and felt better but until you test each category, you don't really know why you felt better - wouldn't that be great to know!?

What does a lifetime eating style look like?

  • You're confident about your food choices because they're based on real knowledge about your body

  • You don't feel "sick" or like you have to police every bite because you have some flexibility - For example, there's no need to avoid every possible instance of garlic in your chicken broth

Conclusion

The FODMAP Diet is a learning process. That’s great news, because it means you don’t need to worry about success or failure, only learning what you want to know or not.

Once you’ve learned the information you’re seeking about FODMAPs and your unique body, you can create new eating habits, new routines…in other words YOUR new normal.

The end goal, then, is to eat and make food choices based on knowledge about your body. It’s a pretty great goal to strive for, don’t you think?

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 or FODMAP Challenge 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 during your elimination, don't feel bad! This FODMAP challenge phase has a learning curve, but it shouldn't take a PhD in food science and the steely resolve of a navy S.E.A.L. 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.

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!

Ready for FODMAP Reintroduction? Grab your free checklist and tracker!

Mistake #3: Expecting an instant reaction

You might have symptoms within a couple hours of eating a test food.

Bloating can happen relatively quickly. But diarrhea or constipation may not hit you for 24 to 48 hours, since gut transit times are different for everyone.

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. Moral of the story: Listen to your body.

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!

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!

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!”

 

5 Signs You're Ready to Reintroduce FODMAPs

5 Signs You're Ready to Reintroduce FODMAPs

If you aren't sure whether it's time to do the reintroduction phase, of the FODMAP diet, look for these 5 signs! Testing FODMAPs is can be an overwhelming process but you don't need to go through it alone. Find out how I did and still traveled, ate and restaurants and enjoyed great food. Learning your FODMAP triggers is so worth it. Click through to see if you should take the leap!

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Last week, I busted myths about reintroducing FODMAPs, and now it's time go deeper on this topic.

The only way to find out what foods trigger your IBS is careful reintroduction. But how do you REALLY know you're ready?

It’s essential to figure this out so you’ll know when to take the leap.

The most important sign you're ready to reintroduce FODMAPs is that you've experienced consistent improvement in your symptoms by doing the elimination phase.

But sometimes you need a little more info to go on! So I came up with 5 signs that show it's time to test FODMAPs. 

Eating croissants in Paris when I was there celebrating my 10-year anniversary in May made one thing crystal clear about reintroducing FODMAPs, and it’s why I’m writing this post:

Knowing what foods trigger your IBS and which ones don't makes life so much more delicious.

5 Signs That You’re Ready to Reintroduce FODMAPs

  1. Your belly feels good, but you’re not happy (spending 8 months in the elimination phase has officially sucked the joy out of your life).

  2. You’re mad at yourself for spending a small fortune on low-FODMAP crackers and bars again because you suspect that a little bit of wheat (or milk/honey/onion powder) will NOT actually turn your belly into an angry, raging fire.

  3. You went to a new restaurant with a really creative menu and spent $24 on a plain grilled chicken salad (special request, of course).

  4. You just booked a week in Mexico and feel stuck between A) Totally depriving yourself on the elimination phase, and B) Eating ALL THE THINGS and getting diarrhea at the beach.

  5. You really miss fresh figs or [insert food of YOUR dreams here].

You owe it to yourself to find out if you and your dream food can kiss and make up.

If these signs sound oddly specific, that’s because I experienced them all myself.  The biggest thing I found? Traveling and eating low-FODMAP can be excruciatingly hard, especially if you're a foodie.

Luckily, I’ve got something that will help you put pizza and pad thai and tapas back on your radar, not banished for all time.

Introducing the Free To Eat Program

Trying to piece together your own reintroduction plan feels like swinging at a piñata blindfolded-- you're just stumbling around in the dark.

Different websites have different rules...Which ones are actually important?

If you want to do this phase at your own pace and a done-for-you plan to find your IBS triggers, Free To Eat is the solution you've been looking for.

Our Free To Eat program, plus monthly trainings, Q&A calls, and community support are available to all members of Calm Belly Club. Join today for only $12.99 per month, cancel anytime.

Click to learn more about Calm Belly Club!

 

 

How to Calculate Nutrition Facts for Any Low-FODMAP Recipe (& Free Live Workshop!)

Click through to learn how to instantly calculate the nutrition information for any FODMAP recipe using a free online tool. It's so cool and easy, you'll want to do a nutrition analysis for every dish you cook! Watch the video tutorial in the blog post and start creating your own nutrition labels. Knowing how many calories and nutrients are in your meals will empower you to eat healthier and lose weight.

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Today, I'm going to show you how to use the recipe analysis feature on caloriecount.com to get the Nutrition Facts for just about any recipe.

Whether you're trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or just figure out how your meals stack up nutritionally, you will love this free tool. You'll be able create a nutrition label for any low-FODMAP recipe you find online, and this is a key piece in the weight loss puzzle.

Psst>>>Click the image below to grab your free cheat sheet!

Why Nutrition Facts are Important

If you want to lose weight, you need to know what you're eating. Specifically, how many calories.

The essential fact when it comes is weight loss is this: If you eat fewer calories than you burn over time, you will lose weight.

So counting those calories is the first step.

Thanks to the FODMAP diet, you're probably used to reading labels and ingredient lists already. But how do you figure out the nutrition stats for recipes you find on blogs and websites, or in cookbooks?

That's where this video tutorial comes in! When I first started working as a freelance writer, I specialized in developing healthy recipes for magazines. At the time, there weren't any free online tools to use. You had to purchase expensive software designed for medical pros. 

I would look up the nutrition data for each individual ingredient in my recipes, tally them up based on amounts and divide by the number of servings. This took forever! 

Now, anyone can calculate nutrition facts instantly. Watch the tutorial to see how easy it is. Here's the link the recipe analysis tool on caloriecount.com.

So How Much Should You Eat Each Day?

You've seen how easy it is get the calorie count for your meals, but that's only the first step. To determine how many calories you should eat each day to reach your individual weight loss goal, you need to factor in your physical stats (weight, age, height), daily activity level, and extra exercise sessions.

Luckily, the internet is here to help! There are plenty of daily calorie calculators to choose from. Try this one, and use your number as a starting point.

 

FODMAP Diet FAQs Part 3: How long until I'm symptom-free?

FODMAP Diet FAQs Part 3: How long until I'm symptom-free?

In part 3 of the FODMAP Diet Frequently Asked Questions series, I'll answer the common concern, "When will I start feeling better on the FODMAP diet?" If you're in the elimination phase, this can be a real struggle, and the answer might surprise you. I'll also explain the related problem of feeling even worse when you first begin doing the FODMAP elimination diet. Click through to watch the video or read the key points now!

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Welcome to Part 3 of the FODMAP Diet Frequently Asked Questions Series!

Here are the other parts of the FODMAP FAQ series:

Part One: Eating at Restaurants and No-FODMAP vs. Low-FODMAP

Part Two: Easy Workday Lunches

Today in Part Three, I'm answering a two-part question that comes up a lot, especially when you're just getting started with the FODMAP diet:

  • How long does it take until I'm symptom free?

  • I feel worse on the low-FODMAP diet...what is going on?

You can hear my thoughts in the 5.5-minute video, or read the key points below.

FAQ Part 1: How long does it take until I'm symptom free?

Short answer: It takes as long as it takes (to put it bluntly!). But what I hear most often is that it takes 2 to 4 weeks before people see a noticeable improvement.

I often hear that people with IBS-D (diarrhea) get symptom relief faster than those with IBS-C (constipation), so that may be a factor in how long it takes for you.

If you've done the elimination phase for 2 to 4 weeks, with no changes, here are some possible explanations:

  • You're overlooking high-FODMAP foods and/or serving sizes in your diet. I recommend using the Monash app as the easiest, most reliable source for keeping track of this stuff.

  • I often say that one restaurant meal won't ruin everything, but when you're doing the elimination phase you want to minimize FODMAPs in your diet as much as possible. So, if you're "cheating," or going out to eat, or having cake for dinner (It's been quite a few years, but I have definitely done this.) every 3 or 4 days, your body won't have a chance to experience life without FODMAPs. This is important because your goal is to find out if eating low-FODMAP truly improves our symptoms or not.

  • It might take a few weeks to get into the groove. The FODMAP diet is really complicated and for a lot of us, me included, it's going to take some time to change our whole way of eating, cooking and shopping for food. You might need to spend a couple weeks learning what to buy at the supermarket and coming up with those go-to meals (My Free 7-Day FODMAP Challenge is great for that!). So, if the elimination phase takes you 8 weeks instead of 4 because you eased into it, that's more than okay.

If you've done the elimination phase as efficiently as possible for at least 4 weeks and you're not seeing improvements, you might have an issue that's not related to FODMAPs.

FAQ Part 2: I feel worse on the low-FODMAP diet...what is going on?

Some people feel worse in the beginning, and there could be a lot of different reasons for this. All the things mentioned above could be factors.

Another big one is stress. You might be stressed about whether or not you're eating the right foods. It doesn't matter where the stress comes from; it can have a real effect on our digestion.

It could be a small thing like drinking a diet soda everyday. It might not contain FODMAPs, but the carbonation can cause bloating and mess with your gut.

People often ask if fiber is a factor--it might be. The low-FODMAP diet is very healthy, so you might be getting more fiber than your system is used to. Whether you're getting too much or not enough, try to add it in slowly so your body doesn't get overwhelmed.

Whatever you're experiencing, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor or the medical pro advising you. If something doesn't seem right, it's better to figure it out sooner rather than later!

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