Healthy Colon, Happy Life? Squatty Potty Review

Recently as I was celebrating my birthday on a culinary/bar crawl trip to Mexico with my friends, the low-FODMAP diet came up in conversation, and it went something like this: “Hey Colleen, is this FOOD-MAP or FODMAP?  Can I eat this?  Can I drink this beer or it FODMAPped?”  And as I was discussing different low and high-FODMAP options on our summery-hot day in Tijuana, another friend started talking about unicorn poop.  Yes, unicorn poop – brightly colored, swirly, rainbow poop.  They then began to share this video with me and it changed my pooping experience forever:

If you are not laughing after this video, well, I guess we don’t share the same sense of humor.  This video is hysterical, and the close-up of him licking the unicorn poop off his lips is just…oh it makes me very uncomfortable.  You might’ve thought at first that this was just some joke, but Squatty Potty really nailed this – it’s one of the best commercials I’ve ever seen.

It’s the Squatty Potty end of the summer blowout! (Yes pun intended). Now you can get a FREE Porta-Squatty ($20 value) with minimum purchase of $39.00. Click here to get squatting!

Proof is in the Poop

I bet you might be saying: “So what gives with Squatty Potty, does it work?”

After my trip to Mexico and having re-played their video a few times, I called them up and said I had to try one out.  I am big on reviews and they were really good (read some here and here with 4.5 stars and 4,438 customer reviews).  Unicorn poop aside, this company is legit and run by the lovely Edwards family in Utah.  If you like Shark Tank as much as I do, you can check out how they faired with the sharks here.

The Edwards family has a few medical case studies for your reading pleasure.  Like this study in particularInfluence of Body Position on Defecation in Humans, concludes that the greater the hip flexion achieved by squatting, the straighter the rectoanal canal will be, and accordingly, less strain will be required for defecation.

TheScienceIsSimplePooping Personal

I was sent the ECCO model.  Did it work for me?  I’ll get very personal and say absolutely.  I am more constipation prone (IBS-C) and still have episodes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but since I found the low-FODMAP diet, bouts of IBS are very rare these days.  When IBS does hit, it’s more around the time of menstruation and women with IBS may have more symptoms during their menstrual periods (it’s no secret why more ladies then men get IBS).  Also, after having a baby in 2015, some things have not been the same (hola to all the mommas –  you get it).  So a couple weeks ago when constipation was incessant around that lovely “time of the month,” I gave my Squatty Potty a try and experienced a gentler rendezvous on the throne.  It’s changed the way I poop and the way I feel.  How’s THAT for a testimonial?  Hey it’s not easy sharing such personal stuff, but I am happier now and maybe just maybe, you will be too if you give the Squatty Potty a try.

ecco squatty potty
The Squatty Potty, ECCO model

The Squatty Potty ECCO – more info:

The Ecco toilet stool works perfectly for families of any size and is incredibly durable and easy to clean. If you appreciate the simple things in life, then this is your toilet stool. Transform your toilet into an elimination station.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

Full disclosure – I reached out to Squatty Potty and they sent me product for free.  If you click on a link like this or others in this post that lead you to their site and you make a purchase, I will get a commission.  Those commissions are great as they help pay for my blogging expenses and allow me to keep working feverishly to bring you great content about the low-FODMAP diet, IBS and…pooping.  Happy pooping!

Free Webinar: Starting the Low-FODMAP Diet? What You Need to Know

I am thrilled to share that I will host an upcoming webinar, “Starting the Low-FODMAP Diet? What You Need to Know” on Sept. 8th for the New Hope Network NewHope360!

Delicious vegetables and herbs ingredients for tasty cooking around rustic wooden cutting board over dark vintage table top view. Healthy food or vegetarian eating concept. Background layout with free text space.

Paleo, vegan, gluten-free: These food tribes are popular enough that your average person knows what they entail. The low-FODMAP diet is less simple—and less of a permanent lifestyle than its contemporaries.

What foods are safe to eat? Which should be avoided? Who exactly should be giving this diet a try, and how long should they stick to it?

Get answers to these questions (and ask your own) during my free 30-minute expert webinar.

Register here

 Date: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Time: 11 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. MT / 2 p.m. ET

And as an added bonus … 

All Co-op bloggers who register for and attend the webinar will receive a free jar of Classic Almond Butter from Justin’s—one of my fave low-FODMAP treats.

Justin's Classic Almond Butter
Justin’s Classic Almond Butter

Established in 2004 in the home kitchen of health enthusiast Justin Gold, Justin’s supports an on-the-go lifestyle and strives to make a difference everywhere, basing its values on four fundamental pillars: Nourish, Nurture, Inspire and Educate.

Be sure to specify that you’re a Co-op blogger when you register. New Hope will follow up with you after the event to send some samples your way!

Once you register, you’ll receive the information you need to access the webinar in a separate email.   See you there!

REGISTER TODAY

Please SHARE this blog post if you know anyone that has painful symptoms of IBS and wants to learn more about the low-FODMAP diet! Thanks in advance!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

How to Start an Awesome Food Blog

how to start a food blogHow to Start an Awesome Food Blog, Part 1

What is your story?  Do you love food and want to share it with the world?  Did someone inspire you to learn how to cook or did you teach yourself?  Do you find yourself thinking about creating a new dish or trying the newest restaurant in town?  Do food and wine documentaries like A Year in Burgundy or Chef’s Table (incredible series – my favorite) excite you more than the next big flick? Do you find yourself snapping photos of your food in restaurants or at home?  Is your Instagram stream full of famous chefs , food magazines and food photographers?  When you travel, are you most excited about the food you’ll eat?  Do you go to farmers markets or comb little shops and specialty food stores for new foods?  Do you appreciate photos that bring out the color and texture of a food?  Do you appreciate when a photograph can really tell the story of a dish through the styling techniques and how the photographer was able to make you hungry and wishing you were eating that very dish?  Do you want to inspire others to eat deliciously or eat healthfully?

You might be ready for your own food blog.

Yes there are many, many food blogs.  Back in 2012, Rebeca of takingthekitchen.com shared that Technorati.com estimated there were 16,588 food blogs in existence – and today?  Who knows.  That should not discourage you though.  Why?  Think of ALL your personal experiences with food, all the ingredients that exist in the world, ALL the cuisines, cultures, chefs and non-chefs, taste preferences, and personal stories connected to food.  It’s a great big opportunity for you to create a niche subject, and have a very niche blog.

“But hold up – I want to write about gluten-free foods (or fill in other subject), and so many gluten-free blogs exist!”

Yup that’s true, however, your story is probably much different from the other bloggers.  Your thoughts, tastes, favorite dishes and style of photography is different.  You’ve traveled different places.  You were raised and influenced differently. All of your experiences will shape what you can ultimately share on your food blog.  That is what makes you unique.

So how do you go about finding inspiration for what to write about?

I’ve got a few tips and ideas to help you get the gears moving in that fascinating brain of yours.

But first a gif from my favorite comedian, Jim Carrey

Finding Inspiration for Your Awesome Food Blog

Get out an 8.5 x 11 piece of blank paper.  I find writing things down is a better means of finding inspiration rather than typing it somewhere on your phone -but do what works best for you.  Answer the questions below:

  1.  Write down your full name
  2. If tomorrow was your last day on earth, what would you want to eat?
  3. What was your favorite dish growing up?
  4. Are there any topics about food that really move you?  Like food safety, GMO labeling, nutrition, obesity and weight, nutrition and healthy foods for kids, veganism, diet and disease, food allergies, food intolerances, gluten and wheat, the ethical treatment of animals, or any others?
  5. Name a favorite restaurant that you frequent and why.
  6. Describe your best experience at a restaurant – write down the name of restaurant, the food you ate, the way the food tasted, the presentation of the food, the wine you drank (if any), the people you were with, the weather and how that day/night makes you feel now
  7. Who in the cooking or baking world do you look up to and why?
  8. What is your favorite cookbook(s)?
  9. How do you want to inspire people?
  10. What are your best culinary skills – what can you teach others?

Answer these questions and you may just be on your way to your new food blog!  I’d love to hear from you so please comment below and share your ideas!

If you’re ready to get started on your own food blog right now, check out BlueHost.com for domains and hosting

How to Start a Food Blog, Part 2

Setting Up Your Blog

Check back for the next post!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

 

11 Products to Try When You Have IBS

Ughhh…being bloated, distended or constipated (pardon my French) sucks!  You may be sitting somewhere right now (at work, in your car, about to get on a plane, at dinner, at an event), feeling like you can’t get out of the way from your bloated self (and you wore your slightly tight jeans/pants today with a button that’s pressing into your abdomen *facepalm*)!

Aches and pains concept. Woman having bad ache and pain. Female placing hands on stomach.

The distention and pain is annoying and fills you with anxiety.  It’s hard to put on a happy face when you feel so sick and sluggish.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be visible (bloating, distention) or invisible (abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, depression, hopelessness).   I wish there was more awareness around IBS so people like you and me could just have friends, family and co-workers that understand. Maybe someday we can all help to grow awareness to a point where IBS is more understood and accepted as something REAL and not interpreted as something in our heads….for now, let’s focus on you.

While the low-FODMAP diet is a great dietary approach to help relieve symptoms of IBS, sometimes we need a little more than diet to help.

When you’re having stressful IBS moments, there might be other things you can do. I’ve listed some recommendations below for products you can try.

Please note that everything I’ve listed below is purely for educational purposes and it is best to discuss most of them (like supplements) with your physician.

*Remember, at the present time there is no cure for IBS, and no magical pill to take care of your symptoms, but there is hope through alternative means.

*Typically when someone is following the low-FODMAP diet, a FODMAP-trained nutritionist will suggest not taking any supplements so as to receive a more accurate indication of possible triggers of IBS.  If before or after you have tried the low-FODMAP diet and want to try the products below, all supplements listed appear to be low in FODMAPs due to the ingredients used (no lactose, wheat, or FODMAPs such as fructooligosaccharides).

Psyllium Husk: 

Several products are available to help with constipation and diarrhea but many are made with FODMAPs or ingredients you may not necessarily need.  When in doubt, use products that have the least amount of ingredients and go natural!  I personally use psyllium husk to help with constipation and it can also be used to help with diarrhea.  It can also help with hemorrhoids and IBD.  Dr. Kevin Curran, founder of EthnoHerbalist goes into more detail about the benefits of psyllium husk.  Please read his article here.  Dr. Curran holds a PhD in molecular biology and currently serves as a professor at the University of San Diego, teaching courses on Cell Biology and Ethnobotany.

  • Organic India Whole Husk Psyllium, 12-Ounce – I like this brand and I add it to smoothies, lactose-free yogurt, gluten-free and low-FODMAP cereal.
    • Learn more from the University of Maryland Medical Center about other uses, precautions and possible interactions.

Peppermint Enteric-Coated Capsules:

Another natural option to help with symptoms of IBS, I have found peppermint enteric-coated capsules to be helpful when I feel bloated like a Macy’s Day Parade balloon!  On their own, peppermint enteric-coated capsules don’t completely relieve me, but they do help.  They may work for you – just remember, we are all different and every gut is different in the way it responds or reacts to supplements, food, stress, the environment and therapy.

Peppermint has been shown to be a calcium channel blocker of muscle.  What that means is peppermint has the ability to block calcium shifts within muscle cells, enabling muscles to relax.

As reported in the New York Times Well Blog: “In a report financed by the American College of Gastroenterology and published in the journal BMJ in 2008, scientists conducted an analysis of previous studies comparing peppermint oil with placebo in about 400 patients. Ultimately, they found that only 26 percent of patients treated with peppermint oil — typically administered twice daily in capsule form, for a period of one to three months — continued to show symptoms of I.B.S. after treatment, compared with 65 percent of those who were given placebo. The scientists concluded that the evidence was compelling enough that more studies should be conducted, and that in the interim, ‘current national guidelines for the management of the condition should be updated to include these data.'”

Tea:

Any organic Peppermint tea may help to ease your gut but another tea I really like is Smooth Move Tea by Traditional Medicinals.  This tea  has not been tested for FODMAPs, however, it may help when you have constipation.  When needed, I drink this tea before bedtime and then drink a glass of tepid water in the morning and usually find relief not too long after – which means that if you have this tea make sure you’re not planning on running out of the house early the next morning or partaking in vigorous exercise – you WILL need a bathroom close by :).  I also like to take this tea with me when I travel because traveling often sets off constipation.  You can see the ingredients here.

Digestive Enzymes:

When taken right before a meal, digestive enzymes may help to break down difficult-to-digest proteins, starches and fats into compounds that make nutrients easier to digest, and they can also decrease the number of colonized microorganisms in the stomach.  Digestive enzymes help the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and small intestine to not have to work as hard. Digestive enzyme production declines with age so people 35 years and older may benefit more from taking them. Your doctor may also suggest hydrochloric acid supplements.  Other health issues that may respond well to digestive enzymes are: Crohn’s disease, liver disease, hypochlorhydria, deficiencies in iron, vitamins B12, D and A.

Pancreatic Enzymes:

Pancreatic enzymes may bring on some mild relief when taken with meals.  They can help digest and break down foods, keeping food particles from wandering too far and deep into the gastrointestinal tract and so the bacteria is essentially starved.  Speak with your physician before use.

Water Bottle:

That’s right.  A water bottle.  Something very simple yet so effective!  I bet most people reading this post do not drink enough water.  I carry a large water bottle around with me all day to stay hydrated.  When empty, I fill it right back up and continue drinking. Sometimes I add ice and lemon juice.

Chicken Broth:

When my gut is all bent out of shape I reach for chicken broth.  It’s warm and soothing, easily digestible, low in calories and fat and rich in a few minerals.  I either make my own chicken broth at home (there’s a recipe in my book The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook) or I use this brand which is low in FODMAPs based on the ingredients used:

Pedometers:

If constipation strikes do you ask yourself: “Have I moved enough today?”  Often times we become constipated because we haven’t exercised or moved enough.  A simple 15-30 minute walk might do wonders for you.  In order to track my activity for the day and to encourage more steps and movement, I use the FitBit Zip Wireless pedometer.  I also make sure I’m drinking enough water and eating low-FODMAP sources of fiber.

Heating Pads:

Ahhh I love heating pads!  If you try a heating pad, it can act as a muscle relaxant to relieve any painful spasms and cramping you feel in your abdomen.

When sitting back with a heating pad, if you have the opportunity, close your eyes and use that time to meditate.  Your mind and the rest of your body may also relax, leaving you feeling much better than anticipated.  If meditating solo is not your thing (or you have difficulty silencing your mind as many of us do), connect headphones to your phone and use a self-guided meditation app or check out some free meditations online.  

Perhaps one of the best things you can do when you have IBS is to meditate
Perhaps one of the best things you can do when you have IBS is to meditate

Self-Guided Meditation Apps and Online Meditation:

 

Low-FODMAP Cookbook:E Low FODMAP Diet CB.indd

Looking for ways to eat with peace of mind and cook or bake delicious foods using low-FODMAP ingredients? My book  The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook features over 300 low-FODMAP and gluten-Free recipes, plus diet tips, menu plans and more!  Buy here on Amazon.  Learn more about the book here.

 

Sources:
Pimentel M.D., Mark (2008-01-01). A New IBS Solution: Bacteria-The Missing Link in Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (p. 97). Health Point Press. Kindle Edition.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

Check Out These 4th of July Low-FODMAP Tips!

I love the 4th of July!  And if you’re trying out the low-FODMAP diet, you can enjoy the holiday too.  Back in 2014 I wrote a post about how to navigate the low-FODMAP diet and enjoy the 4th of July, and I decided to revisit that post and update it.  Take a look here:

https://fodmaplife.com/2014/07/04/celebrations-parties-fodmap-diet/

Happy Fourth of July. Independence day of the United States 4th of July. Happy Birthday America. Hand-lettering greeting card on textured sketch of silhouette US map. Vintage typography illustration

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

5 Ways to Lower Your SALT Intake While Eating a Low-FODMAP Diet

LOWER SALT LOW FODMAP

Those following a Low-FODMAP diet may cringe at having to restrict their diet even further, however eating less sodium is very important for good health.

About 90% of Americans consume too much sodium according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), increasing their risk of high blood pressure. Americans consume about 3,400 mg of sodium each day, and the majority of sodium eaten is already present in foods before purchase or preparation.

Over 3 / 4 of our sodium intake is from processed foods. It turns out that very little of our sodium intake comes from the salt shaker – only about 6%. Since most of our salt intake comes from processed and packaged foods, below are some key methods for how to reduce this major source of sodium (often the hidden sodium) in our diets:

  1. Eat fewer processed and prepared foods and more whole foods.  Bread/Crackers are one of the main sources for sodium in a typical American diet. You want to carefully check the sodium counts per serving on all nutrition labels, especially Gluten-Free foods.
  2. Eat less or moderate amounts of cheese. Cheese tastes good, however lactose is a FODMAP and can cause problems when too much is consumed (even of an allowed cheese).
  3. Check sodium amounts and add them up. You may think that you are not eating a lot of sodium, however when you total up the amount per meal and per day you may be surprised at how much you are eating!
  4. Look for Low-Salt versions of Low-FODMAP foods. *Look for low-sodium versions of deli meat such as Low-Sodium Turkey Breast because deli meat often has a lot of sodium.  Buy chicken stock with “No Added Salt” while also free of onion/garlic (to be free of FODMAPs) because canned/boxed soups have a lot of sodium (Swanson’s makes one in the USA ). Look for “No Added Salt” Tuna Fish  because canned fish often is high is sodium (Trader Joe’s makes a good one).
  5. Use salt-free, low-FODMAP herbs/spices (fresh are best) liberally to add flavor. Start an herb garden inside or outside for a continuing supply of herbs/spices such as green onion tops, rosemary, basil, thyme, dill, oregano, spearmint/peppermint, sage, etc. Adding flavor without salt is easy if one takes the time to find and use low-salt or salt-free low-FODMAP herbs/spices. Using infused oils such as garlic-, shallot-, or truffle-infused oil are great ways to add flavor without salt and you only need a small amount to add flavor without FODMAPs (fructans are not soluble in oil and should not cause FODMAP-related issues).

 

A low-sodium recipe from my website (SalTrax.com) and adapted for Low-FODMAP:

Flavorful Low-Sodium and Low-FODMAP Chicken Soup
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken or cut up parts
  • 8 c. cold water
  • 1 c. celery, large slices
  • 1 c. carrots, whole
  • 1 tsp. garlic-infused oil
  • 1 tsp. shallot-infused oil
  • Parsley, bunch (and/or other fresh herbs of your choice)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper or 3-4 peppercorns and 2  tsp. table salt – divided

Directions:

  1. Place chicken or chicken parts in a large dutch oven.
  2. Add cold water and rest of the ingredients except for salt; bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Add 1 tsp salt halfway through cooking and 1 tsp at end of cooking.
  5. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth and refrigerate broth overnight.
  6. Remove hardened fat from surface on next day and remove bones and skin from chicken and discard. Remove and discard any overcooked mushy vegetables.
  7. Refrigerate meat and vegetables.
  8. Next day, add chicken and vegetables to the broth after fat is skimmed off.

*Optional: add fresh quartered potatoes or cooked rice (uncooked rice absorbs too much of the chicken broth); sliced celery, sliced carrots, and parsley to the soup. 
Boil and simmer until vegetables are tender (30 -45 min). Serve warm

 

Resources for more information about eating a low-sodium diet:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

American Heart Association

National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI)

My book: How to keep track of your salt intake: Easy as 1 – 2 – 3

Sandra Parkington

A bit about me:   After years of digestive troubles, I became very ill five years ago and was finally diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption by an astute allergist. In the past five years it has been quite the journey of learning what foods my body can tolerate and which ones throw me into horrible symptoms. I seem to be holding my own now following the Low Fodmap diet; I eat gluten-free, low-sodium, and dairy-free in addition to pretty strictly following the diet. Since going dairy-free a year ago, my frequent migraine headaches are gone. Before I knew dairy was the culprit I wrongly thought that I couldn’t tolerate tomatoes or carrots. I now am able to eat a small amount of tomatoes and carrots which is wonderful. I especially enjoy eating them when they are fresh from the Farmer’s Market.

Colleen and I had met online several years ago through one of the Facebook Low-Fodmap support groups, however due to various scheduling conflicts we had not had the chance to meet. Finally meeting Colleen in person recently at the annual San Diego Gluten Free / Allergy Free Expo was a real treat. 

Low-FODMAP Tuna Casserole, Mmmm!

 

Low-FODMAP Tuna Casserole with Safe Catch Tuna
Low-FODMAP Tuna Casserole with Safe Catch Tuna

When I hear the word “casserole” I immediately think “warm, satisfying, home cooked,” and there’s nothing better than a comforting meal!  I’ve been creating some recipes lately with Safe Catch and just loving the taste and consistency of their canned tuna.  My latest recipe is a Low-FODMAP Tuna Casserole that’s delicious and easy to make.  Make it tonight and enjoy the leftovers this week!

Learn why I love Safe Catch tuna over other canned tuna brands in this post!

Along with my delicious recipe today, I was able to secure a coupon for you from SafeCatch! When you shop online, get 15% off your entire order  with the promo code: FODMAPLIFE   Happy Shopping here on SafeCatch.com!

Low-FODMAP Tuna Casserole

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ tablespoons butter, divided (see *note)
  • 1 ½ medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
  • 1/8 teaspoon wheat-free asafetida powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 ½ cups frozen green beans, thawed for 10-15 minutes
  • 4 tablespoons, low-FODMAP all-purpose gluten-free flour or rice flour
  • 1 cup lactose-free milk (*can also use rice milk coconut milk)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked gluten-free pasta or brown rice pasta
  • 1 can of  Safe Catch Elite Tuna
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free panko bread crumbs (such as Ian’s)

Directions

  1. Add a ½ tablespoon butter into a medium-sized skillet on medium-high heat. Add in carrots, asafetida powder, then oregano, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  Stir occasionally for about 2-3 minutes. Add in green beans and stir well to coat with butter and seasonings.
  2. Lower heat to medium. Add in 1 tablespoon butter and slowly whisk in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add in milk and salt; continue whisking until well combined.
  3. Add in pasta, tuna and cheddar cheese and whisk until combined or cheese is slightly melted.
  4. Add all ingredients to lightly greased 8 x 8″ glass casserole dish.
  5. In a microwave, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl with bread crumbs.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over casserole dish and add remaining freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes on 375°F.

*Notes – if you are more IBS-D prone, negate the last 2 tablespoons butter (step 5.) and just top casserole with dry bread crumbs or spray bread crumbs lightly with natural butter spray.

LOW FODMAP TUNA CASSEROLE copy

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Low-FODMAP Tuna Salad Recipe with SafeCatch Tuna

safecatch eliteThis year at Expo West 2016 I had the pleasure of meeting the crew behind an awesome brand, SafeCatch. I’m big into seafood, but especially seafood that’s done right.  I’m talking tuna in this case – canned tuna.  Yeah, that’s right – canned tuna can be amazing if you try SafeCatch.  Have you ever thought (dreamed, hoped) that tuna could be tastier and healthier for you?  Well you don’t have to put up with boring tuna any longer.  Ever since I tried SafeCatch I have been hooked (ah hem, pardon the pun).

About SafeCatch and Why They Rock

You might have read an older post of mine where I talk about SafeCatch, but if not, here’s the lowdown again: SafeCatch has a pretty meticulous protocol for testing every single fish for high levels of mercury.   They have the strictest mercury limits of any brand and their product Safe Catch Elite is the only tuna brand that passes Consumer Reports “Low Mercury” criteria for pregnant women and kids.

Make sure you grab the SafeCatch coupon below with my recipe!

Safe Catch also tastes exceptional.  If you weren’t aware, most canned tuna companies pre-cook their tuna and use additives and fillers to put flavor back into the fish.  These brands will put the tuna on racks which drains out over 80% of the natural omega-3s and added benefits. In order to really appreciate Safe Catch, you would need to try it yourself.  When I had a taste test I thought it was like having freshly caught tuna, grilled and served to me.  Safe Catch doesn’t remove the delicious juices from the fish, so you get the full flavor of the fish and a nice dose of Omega 3s with every bite.  The way they do it is by using a unique cooking process called ‘Raw Packing’ where they take hand cut tuna steaks and pack them in the can, and cook in the can to retain 100% of the Omega-3s, natural vitamins and minerals.  They also don’t add any broth, oil, or water to their tuna. Safe Catch tuna is just cooked in its natural fish oils for a very fresh flavor!

Bryan, CEO, Co-Founder, SafeCatch

“Our baby boy Dylan loves Safe Catch tuna right out of the can. It feels great to feed him tuna that builds his brain without the fear of unknown mercury levels. I believe purity is a key link to health and biodiversity. I want to protect purity in our oceans, lakes, and rivers for the next generation.”

What else is awesome about Safe Catch?

  1. Safe Catch is non-GMO and BPA free and dolphin safe
  2. Safe Catch tuna is traceable from catch to can and they only buy from captains whose fish come from managed and sustainable stocks
  3. Their limit for Safe Catch Elite Wild Tuna is ten times (10x) stricter than the FDA mercury action limit and their limit for Wild Albacore Tuna is three times (3x) stricter than the FDA mercury action limit
  4. If one fish doesn’t meet their purity standards they don’t buy it
  5. They don’t add any fillers or additives, unless where salt is noted, they don’t add anything except tuna.

I can’t see myself purchasing any other brand now other than Safe Catch.  If you want to make the most awesome tuna salad, tuna casserole, tuna tomato and bacon sandwich or tuna melt, go to this link for the Safe Catch store finder.

Sean
President, Co-Founder
, SafeCatch

“I want people to have access to affordable and healthy seafood. The choices consumers make impact our food and ecosystems. I think people are excited to implement solutions to protect purity. My goal is to put the need to test for impurities out of business.”

low fodmap tuna salad recipe

Along with my delicious recipe today, I was able to secure a coupon for you from SafeCatch! When you shop online, get 15% your entire order  with the promo code: FODMAPLIFE   Happy Shopping here on SafeCatch.com!

Low-FODMAP Tuna Salad with Grapes and Turmeric

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red bell peppers (or 1 pepper, *see notes)
  • 1 can SafeCatch Tuna
  • 1/4 cup, grapes – raw
  • 1/2  teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon low-FODMAP mayonnaise (I like Sir Kensington’s Classic Mayonnaise)
  • 4 macadamia nuts, halved
  • 2 butter lettuce leaves

Directions

  1. Cut tops off of red bell peppers and clean out seeds.  Apply olive oil to outside of peppers.  Place in glass casserole dish and broil on high for 2-4 minutes or until slightly charred on top.  Remove from oven and place on two plates lined with butter lettuce.
  2. Place tuna, grapes, turmeric, cayenne pepper, mayonnaise and macadamia nuts in food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped.
  3. Spoon tuna salad into peppers and remaining on butter lettuce (*you can also serve tuna salad in half of one red bell pepper and remaining tuna on one butter lettuce leaf).  Enjoy with one serving of crackers made with low-FODMAP ingredients such as Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers.

Nutrition: Calories 311 | Fat: 10g | Protein: 38g | Sodium: 645mg | Fiber: 5g | Carbohydrates: 18g | Sugar: 12g

safecatch tuna low fodmap recipe2

Enjoy this recipe!  Be sure to comment below and share this post with friends.  Thanks!  ~Colleen

An Interview with the FODMAP Friendly Food Program

 

Laura Kalac

Recently I had the chance to interview Laura Kalac, Business Development and Marketing Manager for FODMAP Friendly.  She had some pretty exciting news to share about low-FODMAP products and also explains the way the FODMAP Friendly certification program works.  Read on!

Incorporating the FODMAP Friendly logo, the FODMAP Friendly certification program is the only registered certification trademark worldwide certifying FODMAP levels in food products that have been laboratory tested to be low in FODMAP’s. It is designed to enable consumers with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) who are following a Low FODMAP diet to easily identify and select suitable packaged food products. This easily recognizable “FODMAP Friendly” logo assists people with such symptoms to shop and eat with confidence.fodmap friendly program

Colleen Francioli: For your certification program, how long is the average turnaround in getting one product tested and certified?

Laura Kalac: All new manufacturers must first submit a preliminary application form. Our team of experts then screen the products in the office, and arrange for testing via DTS Food Labs – Australia’s largest food testing laboratory. Testing is usually completed with a ten day turnaround, after which time eligible brands are granted a FODMAP Friendly license and Certification for the approved products.

CF: Do you have any advice to lend for someone who is developing a product and wants to get certified?

LK: Creating FODMAP Friendly products is a fantastic initiative to service those 1 in 7 individuals affected by IBS type symptoms, using a diet low in FODMAPs to manage their condition! However, for a manufacturer not as familiar with high and low FODMAP containing ingredients, there may be a little trial and error involved. We work with prospective manufacturers and provide guidance where we can, to assist and support in this process. Ultimately everything has to be independently tested to be verified, but we can definitely help with the initial process. Obviously due to our experience specifically in this area we are very knowledgeable in the process.

CF: What is the main reason why any products fail the first round of testing?

LK: Products which fail to pass FODMAP testing  do so for one main reason. The overall ratio of ingredients in a product is too high in total FODMAPs to be deemed eligible for approval. In this instance it is suggested that the ratio of ingredients be adjusted accordingly, or modified in some way.

Knowing the specific FODMAP content of each ingredient is vital when combining them to make the end product.

CF: How many products did you test in 2013?  How many in 2015?  How many so far in 2016?

LK: Many products have been independently tested to date! We currently have over 400 tested foods, with many more in the works throughout 2016. So far this year we have tested close to 100 products.

CF: How many U.S. brands have utilized your certification program?

LK: There are several brands in the midst of having products tested, and one manufacturer with a range of products is now licensed and their products will be launched in the next few months with quite a large marketing campaign – this is very exciting as it is the first US brand to be Certified as FODMAP Friendly!

 

Keep up with news from FODMAP Friendly by following them on social and check out their blog!  Comment below with the types of products you’d like to see certified low-FODMAP!

Low-FODMAP Overnight Banana Chocolate Oats

It’s the weekend!  What does that mean?  Relaxing by the pool, seeing friends, going to a BBQ or will you be running errands, going to events, cleaning the house?  Whatever you have on schedule, the weekends are a great time to do some meal planning for the low-FODMAP diet, and overnight oats are an easy meal to make.  They are great to bring to work on Monday – whatever work means for you.  You might have a 9-5, maybe you’re retired and busy volunteering or running after little ones.  Whatever the case, make the low-FODMAP diet work for you and plan ahead.  It saves time and unnecessary anxiety and hangriness!

Try out this delicious recipe next time you need an easy to make breakfast that will power you through your afternoon or workout!

Low-FODMAP Overnight Banana Chocolate Oats from The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook. Photo Kelly Jaggers. Publisher: F+W Media.
Low-FODMAP Overnight Banana Chocolate Oats from The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook. Photo Kelly Jaggers. Publisher: F+W Media.

 

The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available now from these booksellers:

Publisher: F+W Media. Publish Date: May 6, 2016

Overnight Banana Chocolate Oats recipe below and on page 59 in The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook

Per serving: Calories 342 | Fat: 11g | Protein: 7g | Sodium: 44mg | Fiber: 7g | Carbohydrates: 60g | Sugar: 34g

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 ripe medium banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons lactose-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, smashed into chunks
  • 1-2 banana slices, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats and almond milk and stir.  Add cocoa powder, banana, yogurt, vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon; stir to combine.  Place in a canning jar and cover with lid.  Refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, top with chocolate chunks and banana slices and enjoy!  Can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 days.

ENJOY!

Spread the News! Low-FODMAP Book Signing in N. County San Diego

Dear Readers!  If you or someone you know has IBS and lives in San Diego or Southern California, please share the blog post about my upcoming book signing.  Thank you in advance!
PRESS RELEASE
Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook Signing in San Diego for Those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
A new cookbook by Colleen Francioli includes over 300 gluten-free and low-FODMAP recipes, for symptom-free living from IBS
(Encinitas, CA) June 1, 2016 – Nutritionist and author Colleen Francioli will be signing copies of her book, The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook at the 2GOOD2B Bakery In Encinitas on June 5th, 2016 from 2pm to 3:30pm.  Her book is perfect for those looking to find relief from uncomfortable, painful or embarrassing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
A Certified Nutritionist and founder of www.FODMAPLIfe.com, Colleen provides over 300 low-FODMAP and gluten-free recipes plus the basics of the low-FODMAP diet, an elimination diet.  The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available for order now and published in May 2016 by F+W Media, one of the largest special interest publishers in the world.
Admission to the book signing is free but RSVPs are requested as refreshments will be provided.  Please RSVP here:https://goo.gl/jY0ykX
What exactly is the low-FODMAP diet and what are FODMAPs? Scientists have discovered that FODMAPs, a collection of short-chain carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) that are difficult to digest, are often the source of digestive issues and are now known to trigger symptoms of IBS and SIBO.  FODMAPs are found in many common foods like wheat (pasta, pizza, bread), milk, beans, apples, mushrooms, honey, agave, inulin and other vegetables, fruits, and sweeteners.
Following an elimination diet such as the low-FODMAP diet can be difficult, however the author drew on her own personal experience with IBS and what she learned from her fans of FODMAP Life to provide crowd-pleasing recipes and several tips for diet success.  “I once suffered from IBS with symptoms sometimes lasting for days, weeks or even months.  It affected so many aspects of my life until I found the low-FODMAP diet and began teaching others what I had learned” says Francioli.  “The low-FODMAP diet can be confusing but with my book, sufferers of IBS will quickly become acquainted with low-FODMAP foods and ingredients thus boosting their confidence and creativity to make satisfying meals, even if they lead a busy life.”
Book SigningMore than a cookbook, The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook includes a chapter dedicated to the basics of the diet, as well as advice and tips like how to read labels to find low- or high-FODMAPs, how to eat out on the diet, how to plan meals, and how to work in stress relief for a calm body and mind. Menu plans, low- and high-FODMAP food lists and diet resources can also be found in the appendices.  The recipes featured are flavorful and fun; some have been inspired by different cultures; most are very easy to make; and some are popular favorites re-created to be low-FODMAP.
Cookbook Signing Info:
When – Sunday, June 5, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (PDT)
Where – 2Good2B Bakery – 204 North El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available now from these booksellers: Amazon: http://goo.gl/wDxqnO, Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/Z8W2e5, Indiebound: goo.gl/VtWxW9 and Target: http://goo.gl/b5kHfA. Publisher: F+W Media. Publish Date: May 6, 2016
# # #
About the Author
Colleen Francioli, CNC educates and coaches those with IBS, other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and food intolerances. She once suffered from IBS herself and has since found life balance with the low-FODMAP diet, an elimination diet developed in Australia, proven to help relieve symptoms of IBS.  Colleen started her blogwww.FODMAPLife.com to help others with IBS learn how to choose the right foods and stress relief instead of pharma drugs. Colleen is a trained photographer and sommelier. Her background includes working as a digital marketing strategist, mostly for clients in the health and wellness sectors.

Rice Milk Gets the Low-FODMAP Green Light from Monash!

rice milk low fodmapThere’s been a lot of back and forth about rice milk and whether or not it’s low or high in FODMAPs. Monash University had warned us in August of 2015 and in earlier reports that rice milk had an overall rating of HIGH when consumed at a 1/4 or 1/2 cup. I am happy to share with you that rice milk has definitely received the green light to be low in FODMAPs.

Stick to a low-FODMAP serving of 200ml, otherwise high quantities could mean high amounts of the FODMAP fructans (the “O” in FODMAP, Oligosaccharides)

doctor jane muir monash universityDr. Jane Muir, Head of Translational Nutrition Science in the Department of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School, Monash University and her team have conducted some further testing and analyzing and reported on Sunday that rice milk is LOW in FODMAPs. That’s great news for vegans, vegetarians and anyone that enjoys non-dairy milk.

Here’s a snippet from their blog post: “We have now reviewed the rating for rice milk and will be modifying this accordingly. We have given a safe (low level green rating) for 200 ml of rice milk per sitting. The results for the Australian, UK and US will be in the app very soon. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused – but this is science in action! and part of the ongoing research and refinement of the Monash University Low FODMAP diet. Be careful: There are still some fructans present in some rice milks and therefore we do not recommend very high quantities of rice milk in one sitting.” You can take a look at the full post here.

And since we are on the topic, here are other non-dairy milk options for you that are low in FODMAPs, with low-FODMAP servings:

  • Almond milk (1 cup)
  • Coconut milk, canned (1/2 cup)
  • Coconut (UHT-ultra high temperature) (1/2 cup) (150 ml, moderate in FODMAPs)
  • Oat milk (1/8 cup)
  • Hemp milk (1 cup)
  • Soy milk (soy protein 1 cup)
  • Soya milk unsweetened (hulled soya beans) (1/4 cup) (1/2 cup moderate in FODMAPs)*contains moderate amounts of Oligos-GOS. Limit intake

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

The Low-FODMAP Diet in the WSJ

It’s great to see the low-FODMAP diet getting so much press!  Just the other day Peter Loftus of the Wall Street Journal helped to promote awareness of the diet in his article – take a look: More Options to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Here are some other recent articles where the low-FODMAP diet has been mentioned:

People’s Pharmacy: Low FODMAP diet can ease digestive discomfort

IBS – Another Success Story of Low FODMAP Treatment – Huff Post, UK

Miracle diet has potential to transform lives of Scots living with irritable bowel syndrome – Daily Record UK

Woman with a ripped six pack reveals how her stomach looks ‘nine months pregnant’ after an attack of IBS – Daily Mail

Beat the Bloat 3 Ways – The Western Australian

When healthy still doesn’t feel good – Shelby Star

 

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

Check Out these 30 Low-FODMAP Breakfast and Brunch Recipes!

joana mygutfeeling
Joana from http://www.mygutfeeling.eu

I have some things in common with my friend Joana over at www.MyGutFeeling.eu.  We both speak Portuguese (although it’s her native language so she’s a bit more proficient!), we both have sensitive guts and IBS, we both feel better due to the low-FODMAP diet changing our lives and we LOVE to cook good food.  I love the array of recipes and the beautiful photos on her blog and if you have any friends that speak Portuguese she has a section about the low-FODMAP diet written in Portuguese and all her recipes are also translated as well.

A couple times now Joana has invited myself and other talented professionals who create recipes and blog about the low-FODMAP diet to take part in a roundup of low-FODMAP recipes.  The most recent roundup included 30 low-FODMAP breakfast and brunch recipes.  There’s a lot of variety, as well as tasty and delicious-looking recipes.  Check them out and start your day symptom free with one of these delicious ‪#‎lowfodmap‬ Breakfast & Brunch recipes! mygf.eu/lowfodmapbreakfastideas

30-low-fodmap-breakfast-brunch-recipes

You can also pin these awesome recipes for later: mygf.eu/lowfodmapbreakfastideaspin

Here’s a picture below of one of my newest recipes which was included in Joana’s list.  It’s from my new book The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook.  You can purchase it from these booksellers: Amazon:http://goo.gl/wDxqnO, Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/Z8W2e5, Indiebound: goo.gl/VtWxW9 and Target: http://goo.gl/b5kHfA. Publisher: F+W Media.

 

Low-FODMAP Overnight Banana Chocolate Oats from The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook. Photo Kelly Jaggers. Publisher: F+W Media.
Low-FODMAP Overnight Banana Chocolate Oats from The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook. Photo Kelly Jaggers. Publisher: F+W Media.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

 

New Recipe: Low-FODMAP Blueberry Lavender Pancakes

I love lavender.  I love the color and the sweet floral fragrance…I love the sight of lavender fields, the smell of lavender essential oils and I also love lavender in foods.

Lavender gives baked goods and pancakes a lovely taste, and also goes well with lemon flavors.  I was looking for a reason to experiment with pancakes recently, and am very pleased with the recipe below, and I think you will just love these pancakes and the hint of lavender along with the delicate blueberries.

You can learn about the history of lavender here.  I also love the recipe here for Lemon and Lavender Chicken -just be sure to swap out the high-FODMAP honey for low-FODMAP maple syrup.

I adapted the recipe below from Bob’s Red Mill Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes recipe.  When I worked with Bob’s Red Mill recipe, at first it seemed a little too dry so I added more milk and also swapped olive oil for coconut oil.  The other additions I made to their basic recipe was to add in fresh blueberries and No. 3 Lavender Infused Simple Syrup from Sonoma and Co.

I had fun styling this photograph and dripping the delicious maple syrup on top…can you just taste the pancakes now?  My Mother’s gorgeous Belleek China Shamrock Teapot can be seen in the background, along with flowers from my garden and a white vase from the table settings we used for my wedding.
low fodmap blueberry lavender pancakes

Low-FODMAP Blueberry Lavender Pancakes

*TIP – When buying flours make sure you read labels to ensure no high-FODMAPs are in the ingredient list.  I like using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour for many of my recipes.

Directions

  1. Preheat a griddle or frying pan to medium or medium-high heat (350 – 375°F).
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Place coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and melt on high for 30-45 seconds (microwave times vary).
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted coconut oil and simple syrup.
  5. Using a wire whisk, combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Ladle approximately ⅓ cup pancake batter onto hot griddle or pan. Once bubbly and edges begin to thicken and are dry, flip to opposite side.  Cook on each side for about 3 – 4 minutes per side.
  7. Garnish with a pinch of confectioner’s sugar and edible lavender if desired!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

FODMAP Life is Coming to Chicago

I am very pleased to announce that in just a couple weeks I will be presenting a class at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo taking place in Schaumburg, IL, right outside of Chicago.  If you or someone you know has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) please let them know about this expo and tell them about my class.

gluten-free-allergen-friendly-expo-37

My class, “How to Use the Low-FODMAP Diet to Ease Symptoms of IBS” will take place on Saturday May 14th from 3-4p.m.  I will cover a wide variety of topics related to the low-FODMAP diet and share tips and advice to help you on your low-FODMAP journey to a healthier gut and better digestion.

Please purchase your tickets today by following this link: http://gfafexpo.com/locations/schaumburg-il-2016/#tickets

Check all the AWESOME brands that will be in attendance – there are many, including some of my all-time favorites and some newbie brands/products: http://gfafexpo.com/locations/schaumburg-il-2016/#vendors

Where is the expo? 

Schaumburg Convention Center
1551 Thoreau Drive North
Schaumburg, IL
847-303-4100

When is the expo?

May 14 & 15, 2016, 10:00-4:00 pm

When is my class?

May 14th, 3-4p.m.

Thank you and please share this post with friends and family.  If you haven’t bought your copy of my book yet, The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook, purchase it from these booksellers and bring it to the class so I can sign a copy for you: Amazon: http://goo.gl/wDxqnO, Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/Z8W2e5, Indiebound: goo.gl/VtWxW9 and Target: http://goo.gl/b5kHfA. Publisher: F+W Media.

I will have a limited amount of copies of my book on hand so buying online is preferred.  Thank you – I’m looking forward to meeting you on May 14th!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

 

How to Make a Low-FODMAP Shrub with Sonoma Syrup Co.

Have you ever been to Sonoma?  I haven’t.  I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting Napa, to go tasting at a few wineries, enjoy delicious food and say “yes!” to my husband when he proposed.  So Napa has a special place in my heart but I’ve heard I may like Sonoma even more.  My sommelier friends have told me that the soul of Sonoma is much different than Napa.  David Bolling for Great American Country writes: “Sonoma really is unique. There’s no place in California, nor the entire country, that combines beauty, history, wine and real estate into a genuine community.”  One of these days I will visit Sonoma, but in the meantime, I’ve got Sonoma Syrup Co. on my mind.

Sonoma Syrup Co. was founded in 2002 by Karin Campion.  A lifelong resident of California, Karin created her company to “capture and share the quintessential flavors of Sonoma.” Her Infused Simple Syrups were first made using her own kitchen garden.  Drawing upon her experience with botanicals, cooking, design and her family life is how she develops  a wide variety of foods for different clients.

There are a few products available from Sonoma Syrup like American Artisan Infused Simple Syrups, as well as Extract Blends, Bar Mixers, and Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar.  The possibilities for recipes using all of these products seems endless!  You can check out all of their products online or buy them through these retailers.  Today I will share recipes using some of the syrups and delicious apple cider infused drinking vinegar (up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar is low in FODMAPs according to Monash University – and that’s good news because some people believe it may help soothe their gut).

Before I share my first recipe using Sonoma Syrup Co.’s products, have you ever heard of a shrub?  I learned how to make one by checking out Michael Dietsch’s recipe for a Cold-Processed Shrub on Serious Eats.  He describes a shrub as “an acidulated beverage made of fruit juice, sugar, and other ingredients…prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days.”

Michael also points out that acid varies by different shrub recipes, and that some recipes call for either fruit juice or vinegar and some shrub recipes are prepared using alcohol that steeps with the fruit, acid, and sugar.

Starting the process of making a shrub featuring Sonoma Syrup Co. Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar. A few Infused Simple Syrups sit patiently in the background
Starting the process of making a shrub featuring Sonoma Syrup Co. Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar. A few Infused Simple Syrups sit patiently in the background

Shrub Uses

I made a shrub using Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar and absolutely loved the outcome.  If you’re wondering what you can do after you’ve made your shrub, I have a few ideas for you:

  • Use your shrub as an apéritif or as an alternative to bitters in a low-FODMAP cocktail
  • Use one part Cold-Pressed Strawberry Raspberry Shrub (recipe below) and add to four parts of a low-FODMAP serving of alcohol such as champagne or sparkling wine
  • Add a ½ oz of shrub and about ½ oz still water to a glass of your favorite red table wine (courtesy of www.shrubdrinks.com)
  • Add one part shrub of choice to four parts water in a microwaveable mug with a slice of lemon.  Microwave until hot and then add and a slice of fresh ginger.
  • Use one part shrub to four parts water or soda water (soda water is carbonated and can sometimes trigger gas or bloating -test your individual tolerance)
  • Use one part blueberry shrub to four parts water or soda water, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Mint Infused Simple Syrup plus 3-4 torn mint leaves

“We strive to be as authentic and genuine as our fresh all-natural flavors and use only ingredients made by nature.”  Sonoma Syrup Co. 

 

Cold-Pressed Strawberry Raspberry Shrub

Makes about 20 to 24 ounces of shrub syrup, enough to make anywhere from 10 to 20 drinks, depending on how much syrup is used per drink.  Use remaining fruit to put back into your cocktail or mocktail, or add to lactose-free vanilla ice cream.

*This recipe was adapted from Michael Dietsch’s recipe for Cold-Processed Shrub on Serious Eats

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place berries or fruit in bowl. Cover with sugar and stir.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until juice exudes from fruit and starts to combine with sugar to form syrup. This may take only 5 or 6 hours, or it may need a couple of days. A longer maceration won’t harm anything, so feel free to leave it in fridge longer than it might need.
  3. Strain syrup from fruit. Press lightly on solids to express any remaining juice/syrup. Scrape remaining sugar into syrup.
  4. Add vinegar and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour through funnel into clean bottle. Cap and shake vigorously, and mark date on bottle. Store in refrigerator.
  6. Check periodically. Some sugar may remain undissolved for up to a few days. Shake to combine. After about a week, acids in juice and vinegar should dissolve sugar entirely.

Store shrub for up to a year in the refrigerator. The acid and sugar will preserve the syrup.

sonoma syrup low fodmap shrub 2Sonoma Darling  (as shown in photo above) 

Enjoy this original Low-FODMAP cocktail recipe that’s perfect for warm weather or after a long day’s work.

  • 1 oz. Cold-Pressed Strawberry Raspberry Shrub
  • 1 oz. vodka (gluten-free vodka for celiac or gluten-sensitivity)
  • 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. No. 10 White Ginger American Artisan Infused Simple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6-7 ice cubes
  • Optional – top with 3-4 fresh berries or fruit leftover from shrub
  • Optional – garnish with candied ginger

Directions

  1. Combine shrub, vodka, syrup, and lemon juice.  Stir well until combined.
  2. Add in ice cubes and fruit and garnish with candied ginger.

Hope you enjoyed the recipes above, I look forward to seeing what you will do with Sonoma Syrup Co. products!  Check back for more of my recipes using Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Mint, Lavender and Meyer Lemon flavors.

Other facts you may appreciate about Sonoma Syrup Co.:

  • Sonoma Syrups are handcrafted in small batch kettles
  • Their bottles are made of recyclable and compostable materials
  • They source locally and organic as much as possible and are close to non-GMO verification
  • Their fruit is natural and picked from organic orchards, fresh botanicals from organic gardens and their sugar is pure cane

*With respect to the vodka used above or for any alcoholic drink -please remember alcohol is a gut irritant and the suggested serving is one serving for women and up to two for men.  Consider limiting alcohol when on the low-FODMAP diet so you can keep your gut calm and more accurately pinpoint your potential IBS triggers.  Also remember alcohol content can vary from one serving of one drink to another. 

My new book The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available for pre-order now! Get your copy from Amazon: http://goo.gl/wDxqnO, Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/Z8W2e5, Indiebound: goo.gl/VtWxW9 and Target: http://goo.gl/b5kHfA. Publisher: F+W Media. Publish Date: May 6, 2016

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme
*Though I was compensated for this review, all the thoughts and opinions are my own.  I do not publish reviews unless I full-heartedly love the products I’ve been given to test out.  If you’d like to send a product to me I will gladly take a look/taste-test to see if I like it and would be up to sharing it with my fans who have IBS and other FGIDs.

New Recipe – Amy and Brian Coconut Water Infused with Low-FODMAP Fruit

I love working with different foods and drinks, especially when I can get creative and make new recipes.

low fodmap amy and brian copy

Take a look at these beautiful coconut waters (above) in mason jars, infused with low-FODMAP fruits (and a little gin in one!).

Recently I had the pleasure of getting creative in the kitchen with two of my favorite foods – fruit and coconut water, namely coconut water by the brand Amy & Brian Coconut Water (if you missed my first recipe, you can check it out here- Review and Recipe : Amy and Brian’s Coconut Water and Low-FODMAP Coconut Cream Papaya Popsicles).

I made recipes for three fruit-infused coconut waters, one spiked with gin (low-FODMAP).    The virgin recipes were so fun and easy to make, colorful and great for when you want to drink something other than water.  The gin recipe (at far right) is great for a hot day or also makes a beautiful presentation for your next party.

low fodmap amy and brian

Coconut water is low in FODMAPs (packaged or fresh) at 100ml.  That gives you room to drink coconut water as is or experiment and use it in smoothies, desserts, in stir fry, soups, dressings and more.  Gin is low in FODMAPs and a suggested serving is 30 ml (29 grams).  *See my note about alcohol below.

Low-FODMAP Fruit-Infused Coconut Water (with gin)

  • 1 small mason jar
  • 4 thin slices of kiwi
  • ½ large strawberry, quartered
  • 1 ounce gin
  • 3 ounces Amy & Brian Coconut Water with Lime
  • 2 ounces filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions  

  1. Layer in all slices of kiwi to mason jar.  Add in strawberry.
  2. Pour in gin, coconut water and lime juice.
  3. Close jar with lid and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before enjoying.

 

And for the virgins…I used the same recipe above, minus the gin and used these low-FODMAP servings of fruit

Kiwi -Pineapple: 1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple with two slices of kiwi and a pinch of cinnamon

Strawberry- Blueberry: 2 medium strawberries, chopped and 10 blueberries

ENJOY!

*Please remember alcohol is a gut irritant and the suggested serving is one serving for women and up to two for men.  Consider limiting alcohol when on the low-FODMAP diet so you can keep your gut calm and more accurately pinpoint your potential IBS triggers.

 

My new book The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available for pre-order now!  Get your copy from Amazon: http://goo.gl/wDxqnO, Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/Z8W2e5, Indiebound: goo.gl/VtWxW9 and Target: http://goo.gl/b5kHfA. Publisher: F+W Media. Publish Date: May 6, 2016

The Everything Low FODMAP Diet Cookbook

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Recipe Preview from The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook!

Low-FODMAP Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam
Low-FODMAP Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed.  Photo by Kelly Jaggers from The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook by Colleen Francioli, CNC, copyright © 2016 by F+W Media, Inc.

May is Going to Be Awesome

I am looking forward to May for a couple reasons.  For one, we will be celebrating my son’s first birthday (I am planning a Ferrari theme and think I’ll have more fun that most of the kids).  It will also be my first Mother’s Day as a Mom and May is also my birthday month as well.  And lastly it is the month of my book launch.  I wrote over 300 low-FODMAP and gluten-free recipes, plus menu plans, tips and advice (like reading labels, how to eat out, hidden FODMAPs and wellness tips to name a few) and more.  It was a very rewarding process, and I also learned new tricks – like how to type out ingredients with one finger while breastfeeding my baby!  Yes, that happened, many times.  I wrote the book in under two months, while my husband and I cared for my son at just five months of age.

I Wrote the Recipes for You

My fans have taught me a lot over the years with FODMAP Life, commenting on my blog and social media channels.  One topic that always comes up is recipes.  You want them to be delicious, flavorful, you want some of the classics and most of the time, you want them to be easy or quick to make (and I am busy too, so I understand!).  You will find plenty of recipes like those in the book, but I also included some recipes that require a bit more TLC and finesse.  My fans are from all over the world, so in the book you will also see dishes that are culturally inspired.  I also took very traditional recipes and made them low-FODMAP – the types of recipes only your oenophile or epicurean friends would respect!

More Than Just a Cookbook

The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook also includes a chapter dedicated to the basics of the diet, as well as advice and tips like how to read labels to find low- or high-FODMAPs, how to eat out on the diet, how to plan meals, and how to work in stress relief for a calm body and mind. Menu plans, low- and high-FODMAP food lists and diet resources can also be found in the appendices.

Mmmm What’s Delicious in the Book?

Some of the recipes featured are: Cranberry Almond Granola, Strawberry Coconut Almond Smoothie, Quinoa, Corn, and Zucchini Fritters, Coconut Curry Lemongrass Soup, Roasted Parsnips with Rosemary, Blueberry-Glazed Chicken, Citrus Flank Steak, Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa, Mexican Risotto and Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes. Included in the book are breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes, condiments, sauces and dressings, cookies, bars, desserts, drinks as well as a chapter “from scratch” featuring recipes for low-FODMAP bread, pizza dough and more. Chapters for vegetarian, vegan as well as main dishes and snacks for children also included.

How to Purchase

The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available from these booksellers:

Publisher: F+W Media. Publish Date: May 6, 2016

Thanks for supporting FODMAP Life with your purchase of the book!

Good to Know

Many condiments sold today are made with high-FODMAP ingredients, however, my book includes recipes for several different condiments, sauces and dressings that you can make very easily at home and use right away or store for later use.  Enjoy the recipe below:

 

Raspberry Lemon Chia Seed Jam (Low-FODMAP, GF, Vegan)

This jam is delicious on a warm gluten-free scone, on gluten-free toast with butter, or mixed into a tub of lactose-free yogurt.

Ingredients

Makes 1 cup

  • 1/2 pint (or 6 ounces) fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions

  1. Add fruit, lemon juice, lemon zest, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. Cover. Stir occasionally until fruit begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  2. Uncover and bring mixture to a boil until it develops a sauce-like consistency, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in chia seeds and cook 2 more minutes. Stir again and then remove from heat.
  4. Transfer jam to an airtight jar or other container and allow to cool, or refrigerate 2–3 hours before use. The jam will continue to thicken. Can be stored in refrigerator 2 weeks or frozen up to 2 months.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Review and Recipe : Amy and Brian’s Coconut Water and Low-FODMAP Coconut Cream Papaya Popsicles

Before SoCal, I was living on the East coast and working out meant being in a gym or braving a run in the cold, wind or rain – sometimes my teeth and nose felt like they were frozen! When I moved to SoCal, my environment for living and working out changed as did my diet and my appreciation for coconut water.

Don’t forget to head on over to my Facebook page today for my giveaway 🙂

FACEBOOK GIVEAWAYDuring my first years in SoCal when I was still enjoying my running days, I swear coconut water was a miracle drink. I’d come back from a super fast run or an LSD (long slow distance) and I’d have some coconut water and felt amazing. I compare it to when you’ve had too much to drink the night before, but find the right thing to eat or drink and suddenly your head feels lighter. Coconut water is like that.  I feel it’s a great hangover cure for your head and body for so many things in life – after a workout, when you’re tired, when you’re sick, when you’re drained from studying, when you’ve been put on antibiotics or have endured surgery. Similarly, I’m currently nursing and need to stay hydrated, but I’ve always drunk a lot of water. Every so often water becomes a bit boring and I need a little fix of coconut water to do the rehydrating.

Did you know that coconut water is rich in electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and calcium? Coconut water is another good reason to throw away the Gatorade (often sports drinks are high-FODMAP) and hydrate naturally

And coconut water doesn’t have to be imbibed straight from the can either (although who doesn’t love doing that). I personally love using coconut water for popsicles (see recipe below), smoothies, fruit-infused water, cocktails, baking and cooking (think Thai fried coconut rice or coconut vinaigrette).

amy and brian originalSo when you think about making your next coconut concoction, you’re probably aware of the several brands of coconut water available for the taking. Recently I had the opportunity to review Amy & Brian’s Coconut Water and just loved all the different recipes I tried and how delicious their coconut water mixed in and complemented the other ingredients. Here’s a little info about this brand before I share my recipe:

At my house we have coconut water on hand almost all the time. We either buy Zico from Costco or C2O from Amazon but after trying Amy & Brian’s it’s clear we’ve been missing out on taste.

Check out this article 7 More Reasons To Drink Coconut Water

The juice from Amy & Brian’s coconut water comes from young coconuts in the perfect coconut climate – Thailand. Coconut water from Thailand verses other countries will yield a more sweet and flavorful taste. If you’re big into coconut water and yet aren’t particularly excited about any brands you’ve tried thus far, give Amy & Brian’s coconut water a try. Amy & Brian’s is 100% natural and never from concentrate. Their water is in fact non-GMO but at the moment they are not certified to say so on their label.

*Amy & Brian GIVEAWAY on Facebook today – Enter by commenting on the post featuring the cans of Amy & Brian’s coconut water.  One U.S. winner will receive a case of Amy & Brian’s coconut water!  Good luck!

Enjoy my NEW recipe below!

low fodmap papaya coconut cream popsicleLow-FODMAP Coconut Cream Papaya Popsicles

6 Servings

Notes: This recipe will yield a little over 2 cups.  I used 6 small popsicle molds which held about a 1/3 cup each.  *A low-FODMAP serving of coconut water (fresh or packaged) is 100ml or a little under half a cup.  For the coconut cream take a can of coconut milk and turn it upside down in your refrigerator and chill over night.  On the next day, open the can and scoop out the luscious coconut cream that has separated from the coconut milk.

  • 6 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup Amy & Brian’s Coconut Water with Cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh papaya
  • 4 tablespoons coconut cream from can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  1. Drop in 1 teaspoon each of unsweetened shredded coconut into bottoms of popsicle stick molds.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut plus remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into popsicle stick molds. Insert handles or popsicle sticks into the molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  3. To serve, run molds under warm water for 10-15 seconds. Pulling straight up, slide popsicles out of molds.  Enjoy!

Please share your comments! How do you like to enjoy coconut water?

 

My new book The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available for pre-order now!  Get your copy from Amazon: http://goo.gl/wDxqnO, Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/Z8W2e5, Indiebound: goo.gl/VtWxW9 and Target: http://goo.gl/b5kHfA. Publisher: F+W Media. Publish Date: May 6, 2016

The Everything Low FODMAP Diet Cookbook

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme





*This was a paid review.  The thoughts shared for this review are completely my own.  ~CF

My Weekend at the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo, San Diego

A couple weekends ago I had the honor of being a part of the official blogging team for the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo, in Del Mar, San Diego, CA.  It was a great event, with some familiar faces behind some of the brands that I love and new faces for brands I had yet to discover.

As you know on the low-FODMAP diet, reading labels on food products can take some time and we are very limited to the snacks we actually can eat.  With that said, I want to make a point that there are many whole foods that you CAN eat on the diet and those are certainly more important than getting your hands on some tasty snacks.  Ahhh but sometimes I know we all need something to fill in the gaps of hunger during the day or to make snacking more enjoyable.  That’s why I love being your detective and finding more foods for you to enjoy!  I also found some items that could be used for lunch or dinner so read on!

The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego is a smaller-sized expo compared to Expo West which I will be attending this March, so I won’t have as many products to share now as I will from Expo West.  As expected I found many breads that had high-FODMAPs like inulin, honey or had more than one gum in the ingredients. Some people with IBS have no issues with something like xanthan gum but may when additional gums are present in the bread.  Pea protein can be an issue too and I write more about that later in the blog post.

Before I share my review of products from the show, I wanted to take you through some examples of ingredient labels for the brands I visited to give you a little bit of practice on how to be your own detective next time you shop!  High-FODMAP ingredients are highlighted in red and ingredients that may be problematic are highlighted in amber.  Anything with a ? means it’s probably OK to consume but the ingredient hasn’t been analyzed as of this writing:

Example of a wheat-free bread: Water, Mixed Wholegrain Flours (Sorghum Flour, Rice Flour, Corn Flour, Millet Flour, Teff Flour, Quinoa Flour(?), Amaranth Flour), Potato Flour(? not analyzed yet for FODMAP but may be suitable), Flaxseeds, Corn Starch, Tapioca Starch, Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Pea protein, Teff Seeds (? possibly OK), Red Quinoa Seeds, Chia Seeds, Sourdough (fermented Quinoa, Corn and Rice Flour), Psyllium Husk, Yeast, Salt, Inulin, Sugar, Canola Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Citric Acid (a mold inhibitor), Malic Acid (a mold inhibitor), Tartaric Acid (a mold inhibitor).  There are still many wheat-free breads that need to be fully analyzed for their FODMAP content and I hope to see more and more products evaluated by Monash University low FODMAP Certification program very soon.

Example of a pack of Cookies: Juice Concentrate (Grape, Apple, or Pear), White Rice Flour (could be an issue) , Expeller Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil), Light Buckwheat Flour, Date Paste, Millet Flour, Molasses, Crystallized Ginger (Ginger, Cane Sugar), Unsweetened Applesauce (Water, Apples), Natural Rice Dextrin(? made when rice starch is broken down by a common enzyme called amylase, acts as a preservative when combined with natural fruit juices. Used to retain moisture, softness and freshness), Ground Ginger, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Vanilla, Ground Nutmeg, Rosemary Extract.

My Favorites From the GFAF

Here were some of my favorites from the #GFAF show:

 

superseedz maple_5ozThese Maple Sugar & Sea Salt pumpkin seeds snack by SuperSeedz is made with low-FODMAP ingredients and would make a great snack or sprinkle them on a salad or on top of half a small sweet baked potato!  You could also mix these seeds with some macadamia nuts, or top them on salad, in soup or add them to your next recipe for gluten-free bread, pancakes or muffins!  These seeds are made with maple sugar which is mostly sucrose.

 

Freedom Foods Maple Crunch Cereal (Australia)

freedom cereal low fodmap“Tastes like a pancake breakfast, only crunchier.”  So true!  This is one of the most delicious gluten-free cereals ever!  I love having it with some almond milk.  It’s sweet but not overly sweet and I love how crunchy it is.  Ingredients: Gluten Free Flour Mix (76%) [Rice Flour, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour (21%), Corn (Maize) Flour] Cane Sugar, Psyllium Husk, Maple Syrup (2%), Canola Oil, Salt, Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Flavours. 

Glutenberg Beer! (Canada)

Thankfully on the low-FODMAP diet you can have beer, but please don’t go wild.  If you are serious enough about the diet, an occasional glass of wine (no dessert wine or sticky wine) or beer is OK if you really must have some.  Alcohol is an irritant to the gut so if you can hold off on alcohol for the entirety of the diet – that’s awesome!  If you are looking for a delicious brand of beer when you’re ready to kick back, Glutenberg is where it’s at (I mean the name is awesome right?  Sounds like one of my Jewish friends from back in New York).  This beer is especially awesome for celiacs or those with a gluten-sensitivity (like me).  They are the ONLY gluten-free beer brand that’s 100% gluten-free.  They use 100% gluten-free ingredients and their beer doesn’t contain a single trace of gluten (0.00 PPM).  “At the brewery, we are entirely devoted to the production of gluten-free beer. This means that not a single ingredient containing gluten enters the plant. What’s more, all of our beers are 0,00 PPM-tested by an independent lab. Finally, we conduct an ELISA test on each brew.”  I tried their Blonde and White varieties and liked both, especially the Blonde.  Here is where you can find them distributed in the U.S.

 

 

 

These Sugar Crisp cookies by Enjoy Life are also new to me.  While I did not have the chance to taste them I did check out the ingredients and they appear to be low in FODMAPs.  The only real item in question is the konjac flour (derived from tubers of the elephant yam; a soluble dietary fiber that is similar to pectin in structure and function) which has not been tested and analyzed yet by Monash University for its FODMAP content.  However, it is listed near the end of the label which means it is present in smaller quantities so I don’t see a huge issue there. Ingredients: Flour Mix (White Rice Flour, Millet Flour, Buckwheat Flour), Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Palm Oil, Brown Pure Cane Sugar, Natural Flavor, Salt, Vanilla, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (a white, water-soluble solid that serves as a buffering and chelating agent), Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum (can sometimes cause issues in those with IBS), Konjac Flour (listed as one of the last ingredients, so present in trace amounts), Rosemary Extract.

 

What Didn’t Make the Cut for Low-FODMAP But Might be Great for Graduates

The foods I am going to share here are more for graduates of the low-FODMAP diet – those of you who have successfully finished both phases of the diet and know which foods are your pesky triggers for IBS.  Here I will explain what I found so that you can be the judge and decide for yourself whether or not you want to give them a taste test.  I tried them all and did not have any issues, but we (all of us with IBS) are all different in the way we handle food.

tera's whey

tera's whey label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I checked out Tera’s Whey Goat Whey Protein, plain, unsweetened and had the chance to taste test and it was good, but not amazing.  It tastes exactly the way you may think – like mild goat milk.  Goat’s milk yogurt is low in FODMAPs but full cream goat milk is not.  This product does not contain any cow’s milk, but it does contain goat’s milk – goat whey protein concentrate and sunflower lecithin.  I would suggest this product if you need a protein powder option and you also know you do not malabsorb lactose.

 

View this post on Instagram

So this product might be potentially high in #fodmaps just because of the ingredient pea protein which had not yet been analyzed for its #FODMAP content – so we really have to wait to see what @monashuniversity reports back to us when they are able to analyze #peaprotein I really love this brand and I personally have not had any trouble with their Cheezy Mac or other products that use pea protein. You can always try a little and see how you do! With the #lowfodmapdiet I highly recommend not going crazy over what you can and cannot eat – everyone is different! If you really want something badly and it is not yet been analyzed, try a tiny bit and keep your food and symptom diary handy to report any symptoms or no symptoms ! Glutenfree #wheatfree #gfafexpo #gfafofficialblogger #gfaf #expowesthereicome #countdowntoexpowest @gfafexpo @daiyafoods #sandiego #delmar

A post shared by Colleen Francioli (@fodmaplife) on

Daiya (pronounced day-ya as I learned from the lovely ladies at the booth because this whole time I have been pronouncing it more like die-ya) is a great brand, especially for those who need to be dairy free or who are vegan.  What I have found in many dairy free or vegan products is pea protein, which is another ingredient I’d love to see tested and analyzed (soon please Monash!).  Pea protein is made from yellow split peas and found in protein shakes, bars and other food products.  An 1/8th cup of thawed peas (they are green per Monash) is moderate in FODMAPs, however yellow split peas are not on the Monash list, so a few things:

  • I do not know the FODMAP content of yellow split peas
  • I do not know the FODMAP content of pea protein – the yellow split peas go through some sort of processing to make the pea protein so I am not sure how that affects the FODMAP content
  • Pea protein is included in Daiya’s Cheezy Mac near the middle of the ingredient list but I am not sure exactly how much is used
  • Onion is listed on the ingredients list but it is the last ingredient which means it’s present in trace amounts (no issues here  -but remember I’ve already completed the diet and know my “FODMAP Threshold”)

I did enjoy their Cheezy Mac when I got home from the expo and it’s totally guy approved.  My husband said “even I like it” which goes a long way from someone who eats meat everyday.  I did not have any issues at all and I also had some fun with the noodles by adding in ground chicken meat that I seasoned and browned slightly in a pan.  Also I need to note that onion is listed allllll the way at the bottom of the list (which means it’s present in smaller quantities).  I personally have issues with raw onion or garlic but if cooked and I have them in small quantities, there’s no issue for me.  You may be different!  Decide for yourself if you’d like to try this product or consider having a little and see how you do.  Again – no issues at all here, just a huge smile after enjoying the gooey “cheez” and noodles!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

My Low-FODMAP Life at Expo West 2016

natural products expo west low fodmap

Natural Products Expo West (and Expo East) are like Christmas for me – no better yet – like Toys R’ Us.  Remember when you were a kid and your parents or grandparents, uncles, aunts – it didn’t matter which family member it was – they’d pull in to the parking lot of the toy store and  out you jumped, barely WAITING to go check out your favorite toys and you couldn’t WAIT to bring them home, rip open the box and try them?  That’s basically how I feel after attending these shows.  The sensation I get from opening samples or full-size products when I get home is similar to that new toy smell; I just love new natural, health(ier), non-GMO, organic, sustainable, fair trade, free-of products!  I especially love when I can find products that are free or low in FODMAPs.  There were several different products that I tried (I know my FODMAP threshold and what triggers my symptoms), but for this post I am only going to include those that are low in FODMAPs.

Here are some of my favorites from Expo West 2016 (here’s some facts in case you’re not familiar with the show):

Highlights from the Show

 

This tweet could be applied to so many things about #expolife!  I’ve been on both sides – working as a marketing and pr strategist, standing in a booth all three days, talking my face off, back hurting and starving.  Or I’ve spent my time at the show on behalf of my business, sprinting the show floor, zipping up escalators, trying to see as many booths as possible, not eating a real breakfast or lunch and starving but finally giving in to some samples here and there!

Here are a few products I found that appear to be low in FODMAPs based on their low-FODMAP ingredients.  I’ve included ingredients and links on where to buy.  I’ll also be sharing these on Pinterest.  Enjoy!

Safe Catch was definitely a highlight for me and I wish I knew about this brand when I was pregnant because they have a pretty meticulous protocol for testing every single fish for high levels of mercury.   They have the strictest mercury limits of any brand and their product Safe Catch Elite is the only tuna brand that passes Consumer Reports “Low Mercury” criteria for pregnant women and kids.

Safe Catch also tastes exceptional.  If you weren’t aware, most canned tuna companies pre-cook their tuna and use additives and fillers to put flavor back into the fish.  These brands will put the tuna on racks which drains out over 80% of the natural omega-3s and added benefits. In order to really appreciate Safe Catch, you would need to try it yourself.  When I had a taste test I thought it was like having freshly caught tuna, grilled and served to me.  Safe Catch doesn’t remove the delicious juices from the fish, so you get the full flavor of the fish and a nice dose of Omega 3s with every bite.  The way they do it is by using a unique cooking process called ‘Raw Packing’ where they take hand cut tuna steaks and pack them in the can, and cook in the can to retain 100% of the Omega-3s, natural vitamins and minerals.  They also don’t add any broth, oil, or water to their tuna. Safe Catch tuna is just cooked in its natural fish oils for a very fresh flavor!

What else is awesome about Safe Catch?

  1. Safe Catch is non-GMO and BPA free and dolphin safe
  2. Safe Catch tuna is traceable from catch to can and they only buy from captains whose fish come from managed and sustainable stocks
  3. Their limit for Safe Catch Elite Wild Tuna is ten times (10x) stricter than the FDA mercury action limit and their limit for Wild Albacore Tuna is three times (3x) stricter than the FDA mercury action limit
  4. If one fish doesn’t meet their purity standards they don’t buy it
  5. They don’t add any fillers or additives, unless where salt is noted, they don’t add anything except tuna.

I can’t see myself purchasing any other brand now other than Safe Catch.  If you want to make the most awesome tuna salad, tuna casserole, tuna tomato and bacon sandwich or tuna melt, go to this link for the Safe Catch store finder.

Rebel Fish had salmon in a pouch that you can microwave.  I tried the Maple Mesquite Smoked Sea Salt and thought it tasted very fresh and was delightfully flaky.  Yes this is farmed salmon but take a look at how they treat their fish: “Raised in pristine ocean waters, Rebel Fish salmon are isolated in a pure environment that nearly replicates the wild and is perfect for producing premium salmon, prized for its taste and delicate soft texture. Our salmon is nurtured throughout their natural growth cycle to ensure fish welfare and guaranteed high quality.”  Learn more here.

world of chia strawberry spread low fodmapWorld of Chia Strawberry Spread Standard – deliciously sweet strawberries roll off your tongue with this jam.  I liked the taste and consistency from the chia seeds.  I could see using this spread with lactose-free cream cheese on a bagel, or in stuffed gluten-free french toast or just as is on a gluten-free cracker.  Make sure you get the standard version, not the premium which is made with agave.  The standard is all-natural and does not contain pectin, artificial colors, flavorings, preservatives or additives.  No High Fructose Corn Syrup. Sweetened with cane sugar.  Purchase here.

I checked out Suzanne’s Specialties Rice Nectars and fruit spreads.  Their Rice Nectars are natural alternative sweeteners produced by steeping brown rice with special enzymes (koji) and then converting mashed grain into a smooth flavored, sweet liquid extract. The extract is then concentrated to create their Original Rice Nectar. Hand mashed blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries are added to create their Fruited Rice Nectars.

• no preservatives
• non-GMO
• no artificial flavors or colors
• fat-free
• gluten-free
• vegan

Suzanne’s Specialties Rice Nectar Fruit Spreads I learned are the first and only grain-based fruit spreads.  They make them by blending the highest quality fruit with their brown rice syrup. Rice Nectar Fruit Spreads are lighter than traditional jams and jellies.  Try these flavors: (not apricot as that’s a high-FODMAP fruit): Blueberry, Raspberry, andStrawberry. “They’re a delicious and healthy alternative for your children’s lunchboxes.”
• sweetened with Rice Nectar
• fat-free
• gluten-free
• low in calories
• no corn syrup
• no refined sugars

RP’s Pasta – Egg Linguini

I haven’t tried this pasta for myself but the ingredients check out as far as appearing to be low in FODMAPs.  What a delicious pasta this must be!  Ingredients: Brown rice flour, water, potato starch, tapioca starch, whole egg, xantham gum, salt, glucono-delta-lactone.

Boulder Brands

  • Glutino Big Pretzels – NEW – these are just like the harder pretzels you might’ve enjoyed growing up.  I still like the mini twists by Glutino the best, but if you’re into hard, super crunchy pretzels these are for you.  Ingredients: corn starch, rice flour, potato starch, corn dextrin, palm oil, salt, sugar, cellulose gum, cellulose powder, sunflower lecithin, yeast, sodium bicarbonate, sodium acid pyrophosphate.
  • Earth Balance Gluten Free Vegan Cheddar Mac & Cheese – If you’re looking for a nice vegan alternative to mac & cheese, this is a great product to have on hand when you don’t have time to make it yourself (like this recipe here – swap out lobster for vegan).  I tried this mac & cheese at the show and it was creamy, but not heavy and I loved the mild flavor!

NutFacts_GF_MacandCheeseearth balance vegan

Alpendough Snickerdoodle cookie dough – hands down the BEST cookie dough I’ve ever had and it’s VEGAN! They also have double chocolate and chocolate chip.  “Making gluten free and vegan cookie dough doesn’t mean that we are exempt from good taste and texture.”  It’s true – the taste and the texture was so good!  I think having a small amount of this dough raw is a perfect treat – but of course go ahead and make a batch of cookies too!  Here are the ingredients for snickerdoodle: Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free whole grain oat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic coconut oil, organic maple syrup, organic coconut milk, organic dark brown sugar (non-bone char), water, tapioca flour, less than 2% of: organic vanilla extract, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum, organic cinnamon, baking powder (aluminum-free)

Order their deliciousness online.  More on the company: Alpendough provides an opportunity for consumers to choose products that positively influence the world environmentally and ethically, while providing individuals who make educated food decisions and those with dietary restrictions to experience the joy and flavor of the best cookie dough, ever.

popart nori sesame popart rosemary truffle low fodmap

PopArt Popcorn – This is FUN and delicious popcorn that you’ve got to try!  Organic non-GMO corn, all-natural, gluten-free, no trans fats, no MSG, vegan friendly popcorn! These two flavors are my new best friends:

Nori Sesame Ingredients:Organic Non-GMO  Popcorn, High Oleic Safflower and/or Sunflower Oil, Sesame Flour, Sea Salt, Dried  Seaweed, Sugar Sesame Oil

Rosemary Truffle ingredients: Organic Non-GMO  Popcorn, High Oleic Safflower and/or Sunflower Oil,  Sea Salt, Rosemary, Black Summer Truffle, Aroma.

“At Pop Art Snacks, we thrive on inserting fun into the mundane. Much like Andy Warhol did for the Campbell’s Soup Can in the art world, we do for snack food. We take the traditional snack popcorn and elevate it into a savory ‘taste of art.’ ”  

Frito-Lay's new SunChips brand packaging includes the Center for Resource Solutions' Green-e designation identifying products supporting renewable energy. (PRNewsFoto/Frito-Lay) (Newscom TagID: prnphotos065095) [Photo via Newscom]

Wild Things – Dark chocolate raspberry skinny dipped almonds – delicious!  I loved the light coating of sweet raspberries and chocolate.  Such a satisfying treat to carry along in your bag to work, on the plane or anytime you need a snack. A low-FODMAP serving of almonds is 10, so please keep that in mind when snacking on these or any almonds. Ingredients: Almonds, dark chocolate, organic maple syrup, sea salt and raspberries!

 

kiwa plantain chipsDid you know that plantain chips are low in FODMAPs?  Get your hands on a bag of Kiwa Golden Plantain Chips.  A low-FODMAP serving is 10 chips.  Ingredients for this product: Plantains, non-hydrogenated palm oil, salt.

Other snacks I liked:

RW Garcia 3Seed Sweet Potato Crackers – made with stone ground yellow corn, sweet potato, sunflower or corn oil, flaxseed, black sesame seeds, chia seeds, sea salt, trace of lime.

3.5_merrybites_saltedbrownieHail Merry Salted Brownie Merry Bites -made with organic maple syrup, organic shredded coconut, dark cocoa*, almond flour, organic chocolate chips* (organic cane sugar, organic cocoa liquor, organic cocoa butter), organic virgin coconut oil, organic coconut sugar, organic Madagascar vanilla, Celtic sea salt.  *Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA. 

seasnax lime low fodmapSeaSnax Big Grab & Go Lime – made with harvested organic seaweed, add organic extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and zesty lime.

Make Your Own Tempeh?  Say What?

Joy DuPuis: Co-founder of TempehSure a.k.a. “The Foodie” turns tempeh recipes into beautiful works of art.

TempehSure™ –  for those of you who love tempeh and appreciate it as a delicious protein source (whether you are vegan, or not), you need to learn about TempehSure, a DIY plant-based protein system that allows you to make tempeh in your own kitchen.   While I was near the Daiya booth chatting with a few well-knowns in the vegan world like vegan educator and chef extraordinaire Mimi Clark and teacher/naturalist/hippie and founder of Tofurky Seth Tibbott, I also had the chance to meet John Silva of the TempehSure team.  He shared oodles of information all about their new kickstarter and how the TempehSure device helps people make tempeh from a variety of legumes such as soy beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.  He was saying how making your own tempeh is also another way to ensure (hence the “sure” of the brand name) you know exactly what’s going into your tempeh.  Maybe you’re trying to avoid soy?  If so, you can enjoy your tempeh without it.  TempehSure provides a trusted source for pre-portioned starter culture, bean blends and their dual-stage Protein Pod that seamlessly incubates and pasteurizes tempeh at the touch of a button from your smartphone (yes, there’s an app for that!).  The Protein Pod makes 1.5 pounds of tempeh, great for those wanting to tinker around at home.  The Protein Pod is also great for chefs who want to try and make small batches first to see how they like the device, or they can buy the larger unit, the Protein Pod Plus and make up to 3 pounds of tempeh at a time.  I’m sold, and I want to make my own tempeh stat!

Try Some Probiotics

You can read a story I wrote about probiotics for NewHope.com which will be published soon (i’ll come back and share the link here).  There were several probiotic supplements, digestive aids and other food products that incorporated probiotics.  My story also includes commentary from a talk by Dr. Mark Davis, ND, titled “Probiotics: Delivering a Good Gut Feeling” which focused on probiotics, the differences between the many strains and why they’re beneficial for our digestive system.

Check out more products from Expo West by going to my Instagram feed here.

 

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Low-FODMAP Easter – Cream Filled Carrot Cake Cookies

easter low fodmap carrot cake cookieThis recipe was adapted from Carrot-Cake Cookies on marthastewart.com.  Pictured in the photo is a beautiful gift I received from my friend Bridget, a Belleek Celtic mug.  Photos shot with my Canon 5D Mark III.

When I grew up, every Easter morning I remember coming down the stairs, the morning sun streaming through the trees and coming in through the front bay window.  My Mother was almost always in the kitchen with a smile on her face because she knew there was just one thing I couldn’t wait to do – find all the painted eggs she hid in the house.  One of the best parts of my Easter egg hunt was when I found all the eggs and was allowed to open the front door.  That’s where I’d always find my prize – a big Easter basket with a pastel-colored bow (usually yellow), filled with things like candies and a stuffed and very soft stuffed animal rabbit.  I still have a Ty rabbit she gave me, and on the tag it says: “Love, E. Bunny.”

I can’t remember how long the egg hunting tradition carried on for my Mother and I but I may remember finding eggs when I was in my twenties – you can never get too old for stuff like that, especially when your mother or any loved one enjoys it so much!

Enjoy these Spring-inspired Low-FODMAP Cream Filled Carrot Cake Cookies.  If you have little ones what might be fun is to give them the task of spreading the filling in between the cookies.  You could even take a little bit of the filling and mix in different colors of pastel food coloring to make these even more festive.

easter low fodmap carrot cake cookie3These cookies are great with decaf green tea and can also be frozen to enjoy at a later date.

 

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 2 ounces lactose-free cream cheese (from a bar not whipped), room temperature
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For the Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (without FODMAPs)
  • 1 teaspoon cracked ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink rock salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed, finely grated, carrots (about 4-5 large carrots)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, no sugar added
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Make filling: With an electric stand mixer (or electric hand mixer), beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat until combined. Cover; chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

  3. Whole frosting is chilling, make cookies: In the bowl of your stand electric mixer, whisk together butter, sugars, and egg. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until combined. Mix in oats, carrots, and cranberries.

  4. Drop dough by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten balls of dough gently with the palm of your hand.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

  5. Once cooled, turn half of the cookies over, bottom side up; add about 1 teaspoon chilled cream-cheese filling. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to spread filling to edges. Serve immediately.

Don’t forget to follow FODMAP Life on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

Introducing: The First U.S. Low FODMAP Food Distributer

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Read how a young and determined student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California is working on a way to help low-FODMAP dieters in the U.S. to have more access to low-FODMAP foods and products – yes we may be closer than you think!

The first ever U.S. Low FODMAP Food Distribution organization is almost here

“The Low FODMAP diet changed my life after being diagnosed with SIBO, lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, and IBS-C at age 19, for the best and for the worst.  While my symptoms have improved, I am frustrated and bored with the limited food options that I now have to choose from.  My eating habits revolve around reading labels, researching snack options, cooking meals, and stressing about whether or not I am going to get sick from the food I just ate.  Worst of all, I am hesitant to go on vacations and trips with friends and family because I fear that I won’t have anything to eat while away from my kitchen.  More importantly, however, I know that I am not alone in these difficulties.  This is my inspiration for starting , a food distributor for safe, certified, low FODMAP foods from around the world.  Can you imagine walking into a grocery store and finding a low FODMAP section with tons of snack options?  Just spot the FODMAP friendly stamp and put it in your cart! This sounds like a fantasy to me, but it is time to make it a reality.

“My goal is to eliminate the stress of people with IBS and other chronic digestive issues…”

“By importing low FODMAP foods from around the world, U.S. Low FODMAP Food Distribution will provide a one-stop online market for FODMAPers to nourish themselves, stress and symptom free.  It is time for us to experience the convenience of purchasing low FODMAP labeled foods in order to follow this great diet without daily hardships.   My goal is to eliminate the stress of people with IBS and other chronic digestive issues through convenient, diverse, and Low FODMAP food options imported into the U.S. and to promote the Low FODMAP certification programs to more U.S. food brands.

“Eventually, I believe retailers will realize the impact that this diet can have on millions of people’s lives, and we will begin to live that low FODMAP fantasy that I can only dream of right now.

Please come and support Randi as she grows her new venture, US Low FODMAP Food Distribution, by liking her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/uslowFODMAP .

 

IMG_8522Randi Stecki has been struggling with digestive problems since the day she was born.  After 19 years of constant stomach aches, she was finally diagnosed with lactose intolerance, SIBO, fructose malabsorption, and IBS-C.  While she was relieved that she finally had a diagnosis, her life changed dramatically as she had to change her eating habits to follow the low FODMAP diet.  Now, Randi spends a lot of time learning how to eat properly, reading low FODMAP blogs, and discovering new ways to help people, like herself, feel better with less hassle.  She recently started U.S. Low FODMAP Food Distribution to eliminate the stress of people with chronic digestive issues through convenient, diverse, and Low FODMAP food options imported into the U.S.A.

Randi studies entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California where she is continuously learning new ways to grow her business.  As a dancer, her strong sense of artistry and creativity help her develop new and innovative ways of reaching her goals.  She utilizes these skills through work with a non-profit organization Dizzy Feet Foundation and a local start-up, Revita Ink.  While Randi loves cooking, fitness, music, dance, and having lunch (low FODMAP of course!) with friends, she finds ultimate happiness and joy through helping others and is so excited to see how her new business can enhance the quality of people’s lives.

 

 

Don’t forget to follow FODMAP Life on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

 

FODMAP Life Recipe Challenge: Chocolate Teff Chia Cupcakes, Low-FODMAP, Vegan, Nut-free

Welcome to another FODMAP Life Recipe Challenge!  I held my first recipe with Deniz of Fructopia and loved what she created from just five items.  Her recipe was not only healthy but very creative and you can take a look at it here.

So the way my recipe challenge works is I give another blogger who writes about the low-FODMAP diet and/or IBS, five low-FODMAP ingredients.  They then have to use at least three of the five ingredients and come up with a low-FODMAP recipe, take some pictures and write a blog post.  I really love holding these challenges because it’s a great way to show everyone else who is trying out the diet that it’s not that hard to make flavorful and satisfying low-FODMAP dishes. There are many great choices for low-FODMAP foods so don’t feel like your limited.  Yes you just may miss some things you are accustomed to having (and you might be able to have some of them again) but I bet there’s a world of food and flavor combinations you’ve yet to try!

Need a book to help you on your low-FODMAP journey?  Check out our books:

The Everything Guide To The Low-Fodmap Diet: A Healthy Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders

The Everything Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook

 

So for this recipe challenge I contacted sisters Dr. Bolen and Kathleen Bradley (check out their new low-FODMAP e-course here) and asked them to give me at least five ingredients and I in return gave them five.  Here is what Kathleen said: “I call this ‘frosting season’ as everyone I love seems to have a birthday this month.  So my list for you is reflective of the ingredients that are jumping around in my head right now: cacao powder, pure Stevia (liquid or powder), Teff flour, orange, lentils.”  From that list I used and created Chocolate Teff Chia Cupcakes using cacao powder, Stevia, teff flour and lentils.  I had a lot of fun and experimented with three different recipes for frosting and made two different cupcake batters and the final end result was so luxuriously good!

My list for the ladies was:

  1. Tempeh
  2. Zucchini
  3. Walnuts
  4. Red bell pepper
  5. Tamari

I can’t wait to see what Dr. Bolen and Kathleen make!  We are both posting our recipes on the same day so it’ll be a surprise for us all.  If you want to take part in a future FODMAP Life Recipe Challenge just drop me a line!

low fodmap chocolate teff cupcakes

Chocolate Teff Chia Cupcakes -Low-FODMAP, Vegan, Nut-free

Makes 7 cupcakes (double recipe if needed)

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ cups teff flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium seed husks
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup canned lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted at room temperature

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream from a can (not “lite”)
  • 1/2 cup SunButter (creamy)
  • 1/4 stick vegan margarine or butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

low fodmap chocolate teff cupcakes2Directions

  1. Take a can of coconut cream and put it in your refrigerator, turned upside down.  Refrigerate overnight so cream can separate from liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, psyllium seed husks and sea salt.  Add ingredients to an electric mixer with a whisk attachment.
  4. In a food processor or NutriBullet, add in bananas, lentils (make sure they are from a can, rinsed and drained), chia seeds, vanilla extract and liquid stevia. Pulse a few times to combine.  Remove container from food processor or blender and stir in coconut oil.  Stir mixture into bowl of electric mixer with dry ingredients and mix until cake dough is formed.
  5. Spread batter into cupcake pan and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Let cool before adding frosting.
  6. To frost: Add coconut cream, SunButter, margarine or butter, extract and powdered sugar to bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed for 15-30 seconds or until well combined.  Place frosting in a frosting bag and pip frosting onto cupcakes.  Enjoy!

Notes: Frosting recipe was adapted from SunButter’s site and instead of half and half I used coconut cream (a great replacement for some other recipes where half and half or cream is called out).  Also, since I had never made a chocolate teff cake before I needed some inspiration!  So I adapted the recipe here from SheLetThemEatCake.com and then changed it up quite a bit.

Colleen Post 3 (1)

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Eat with Confidence – Try this Low-FODMAP E-Course!

So you’ve just come back from the doctor, and he/she suggested you go on the low-FODMAP diet.  Yeah, low-FODMAP what?!?  I know how you feel and what you’re thinking right now because I too was there before.  Uncomfortable, low energy, a distended belly, constipation (maybe it’s diarrhea and/or constipation for you), abdominal pain, and most of the time I had no desire to do much of anything.  IBS was like the evil monster lurking in the closet, always there and sometimes too scary to handle.

However, now there’s no ugly monster.

Yes maybe sometimes my IBS comes back, but it’s not scary and I can handle it.  It’s all because I found the low-FODMAP diet and really paid attention to FODMAPs, to my body and to giving myself what I needed – stress relief included.   I did it all on my own without a support system, and with additional training in nutrition.  However, you don’t have do this whole FODMAP thing alone and you don’t need to formally study nutrition, but you can learn more about the diet, more about food, and cooking really good dishes for yourself.  The road you can consider taking is a new course (no pun intended), called The Everything Low-FODMAP™ E-Course.

Before I go on, I want to be totally transparent.  This course is developed by two ladies I call my friends.  We have low-FODMAP books under the same publisher and series and have been working together to help people like yourself to have a happier gut and we just really want to get the word out about the low-FODMAP diet.

bolen bradleyThe two ladies I am speaking of are sisters Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley, CPC.  Dr. Bolen has been working with IBS clients for some time now and is also the IBS expert on About.com.  Kathleen has dealt with IBS herself and they both really care about making you empowered.  

More About the Course

The Everything Low-FODMAP™ E-Course includes a series of self-paced classes, where you will learn all about how to successfully use the diet by listening to informative, easy-to-follow podcasts. You will be able to download helpful handouts, cheat sheets, low-FODMAP recipes to help you to achieve success on the diet.  Also, as a student in the Everything Low-FODMAP™ E-Course, you will be invited to participate in a private Facebook group – a comfortable place for you to get questions answered and to share and benefit from diet tips and recipes. Like I mentioned before, you will not be following this diet all alone!

The course only costs $57REGISTER HERE

Low-FODMAP-Ecourse-2-Week-Header-1

Just follow this link to learn more about the course, if it is for you, and if so, sign up!

Also, the first 10 people to sign up for the course will receive a free copy of each of our books.  That’s 450 recipes, plus information on the science behind the diet, the phases of the diet, tips and advice, how to read labels, menu plans and low- and high-FODMAP lists plus much more.  Consider these books and the E-course your tickets to a possible life without gut-wrenching symptoms and a brighter future where you look forward to getting dressed up and eating with confidence (and I really mean that!).

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Here are links to the books on Amazon for your reference:

Good luck!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional counseling services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Low-FODMAP Turkey Vegetable Pasta Recipe

If you lead a busy life like me, chances are you want recipes that are quick and easy to make but also taste delicious.  On the low-FODMAP diet you can eat well, make tasty meals and still have time to do things around the house, prepare for the next day or maybe just have time enough to pet your cat and catch an episode of Downton Abbey (if only every night I could watch my favorite series!).

 

low fodmap turkey vegetable pasta

Low-FODMAP Turkey and Vegetable Pasta

You can always change up this recipe by using different low-FODMAP herbs, vegetables, cheese or ground chicken.  This dish is also great to bring to work the next day for lunch and kids like it too.

Serves 4

  • 8 oz. gluten-free brown rice spiral pasta
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or sunflower oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (1/4 cup per person is low in FODMAPs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 12 oz. package of lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook gluten-free pasta according to directions on box.  Drain pasta, stir in black pepper and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, use a medium sized skillet and heat 1 tablespoon oil.  Once heated, add carrots, broccoli and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.  Then add turkey meat and brown on all sides.  Add in zucchini, and continue to stir all ingredients.  Once zucchini is tender, add in spinach and combine with ingredients until just wilted.  Add in pasta and stir well to combine.
  3. Transfer pasta to bowls and top with cheese.

 

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional counseling services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

New Low-FODMAP Updates from Monash University!

When Monash University tests and analyzes new foods, I get a little excited.  OK like really excited.  I nerd out and start to think of all the new dishes or snacks I could create and I think of all the times FODMAP Life fans have asked me “is cider vinegar high in FODMAPs?”  Thankfully now we have a definite answer and you CAN have cider vinegar!  (see serving size listed below for apple cider vinegar with a few other new foods).  This is great because there are some really good recipes for drinks using apple cider vinegar that I find can help with IBS.

If you have not seen the updates yet on your app, you will soon.  In case you are new to my blog and new to the low-FODMAP diet, Monash University research on FODMAPs is your go-to when it comes to which foods are low or high in FODMAPs.  It’s the only source I use.  Why?  Because they actually test and analyze the foods.  When you purchase their app, you help to fund the research that allows all of us to enjoy a longer list of low-FODMAP foods!  Here’s a link to the app: http://www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/gastro/fodmap/iphone-app.html
monash university updatesHere’s a message from Monash on the new update:

“With our app’s new feature allowing your device to update automatically when we release new foods, it can be hard to keep up with what’s new when you’re not being alerted. So here are a few foods you’ll see pop up on your app in the next few days (if they haven’t already!). Keep an eye out for more fresh foods, certified food products, and country-specific foods in the next few weeks!”

Here are some updates I have seen on my phone so far (anything missing I will fill in as I get it):

Low-FODMAP:

  • Apple cider vinegar – 2 tablespoons
  • Cumquats – up to 4 peeled or unpeeled
  • Guava – (ripe) 1 medium
  • Kaffir lime leaves – 3 leaves
  • Popcorn – (plain) up to 7 cups (1 packet)

Sage – I am still waiting for information

Shiitake mushrooms – I am still waiting for information

High-FODMAP

  • Agave syrup -we have always known it’s high-FODMAP but the update lets you know that both dark and light are high in FODMAPs
  • Guava – (unripe) 1 medium

That’s it for now!

Get 300 low-FODMAP and gluten-free recipes by pre-ordering my new book The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook!  Available with these booksellers:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/wDxqnO
Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/Z8W2e5
Indiebound: goo.gl/VtWxW9

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional counseling services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

45 Low-FODMAP Snack Ideas

If you’ve already started the low-FODMAP diet you may have learned that eating a huge breakfast, lunch or dinner has not been very beneficial to your GI tract.  That overloading it with too much food (and probably too many FODMAPs) hinders your digestion and triggers symptoms of IBS and well as fatigue.  There’s a solution to not eating huge meals – eating smaller meals and looking forward to healthy snacking!

About stuffing yourself silly…I think most of us have been taught to eat until we are full but actually, it’s better to eat until you are 50-75% full so you can leave some room not only for the digestion process but to also give your brain some time to send the signal to your gut “hey, let’s simmer down now, I think you’ve ate enough buddy!”  I know I was taught to eat until I was full.

Me (at left) pictured with my Dad's side of the family, of Irish decent but mostly Italian (oh admire my Brother's fist pump won't you)
Me (at left) pictured with my Dad’s side of the family, of Irish decent but mostly Italian (oh admire my Brother’s fist pump won’t you)

I remember being a skinny little girl and my parents were somewhat worried because I didn’t eat a lot or everything that was on my plate.  I often remember looking down at my plate and feeling full and not wanting more! At one chicken parmesan dinner, my Italian/Irish Dad decided to say he’d pay me $25 if I finished everything.  Of course I would!  $25 was the jackpot for a nine year old (at least in the 80’s; not sure about kids now).  So from that point on I would finish everything on my plate which I have had to learn over the years to not do.  With Italian-American families you eat everything on your plate otherwise you’d be threatened grandma would come give you the smackdown (and let’s not forget eating pig’s feet at Grandma’s house; but no worries, I don’t need to recap that for you).  On a side note…Grandma’s raviolis were amazing (holy high-FODMAPs with pasta, ricotta cheese AND onion and garlic in the tomato sauce).  It’s hard when I visit my home state of New York and having to say “no” to things like bagels, pizza, pasta, some Chinese and Greek food or to a hero (another word for an amazing submarine sandwich).  Luckily more restaurants are offering wheat-free options but I find it happens far more often in urban areas.

So Let’s Get Snacking!

So as you look to calm your gut and learn better eating habits all the while trying out low-FODMAP snacks and meals, consider slowing down while you eat.  Enjoy meals without distraction (cell phone, TV etc.).  Taking in some long, slow breaths before your meal can also help calm the nerves and make you less likely to overeat.  While you’re at it, get more helpful tips by downloading my free Tips for Better Digestion.

Now that you know eating huge meals may not be a good idea, especially if you have IBS, consider having three smaller meals per day with two snacks in between.  Adjusting to this may take some time and chances are if you didn’t snack before, you will need to now.  I’ve got you covered with a few low-FODMAP snack ideas below which have been listed with servings so you can make better snacking choices!

Low-FODMAP Snacks

Veggies

  • 1 medium carrot peeled and sliced and a 1/2 cup green bell pepper sliced with 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, 1 ounce cheddar cheese and 1 serving rice crackers
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber with 4 tablespoons cottage cheese and 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 small salad with 1 cup spinach, grated carrots, 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese and 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (for vegan switch cheese for nuts or 1/4 cup chickpeas- drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato drizzled with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and top with 1 tablespoon crushed walnuts
  • 1 roma tomato halved and cored and filled with 1 egg and 1 ounce cheese.  Sprinkle with herbs and bake at 450ºF for 6-10 minutes (depending on desired doneness)
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini with 1 medium carrot peeled and sliced with 2 slices swiss cheese

…keep scrolling to see more!

pinterest snack ideas low fodmapFruit

*When possible, have fruit on its own at least 30 minutes before eating a meal.  This is not a low-FODMAP approach to eating, just general good digestion advice.

  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 20 blueberries with plain lactose-free yogurt topped with 10 unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe cut into chunks and wrapped with prosciutto
  • 1 medium carambola (star fruit)
  • 1 medium clementine with 10 almonds
  • 4 peeled cumquats
  • 1 medium dragonfruit
  • 1 cup grapes (any variety)
  • 1 medium guava
  • 2 small and peeled kiwi fruits
  • 1 whole passionfruit pulp with 6 ounces of plain lactose-free yogurt and cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Smoothie – blend 10 frozen raspberries with 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 cup soy milk (made from soy bean protein), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1/2 cup ice
  • 5 medium strawberries, cut into slivers and topped on gluten-free, low-FODMAP bread with 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Smoothie bowl – blend 20 frozen blueberries, plus 1 cup almond or hemp milk, 1/2 cup ice, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut, 1 tablespoon nut butter and top with 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon crushed macadamia nuts

Chips, Crackers, Cookies, Chocolate Etc.

  • 1 serving gluten-free and low-FODMAP graham crackers
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil spread on 1 slice gluten-free and low-FODMAP bread
  • 1 small packet of potato chips/crisps (gluten-free if you are celiac or have a gluten intolerance)
  • 1 small packet plain corn chips
  • 1 slice gluten-free and low-FODMAP bread topped with 2 slices of deli turkey (antibiotic/hormone free if possible!) and 1 slice swiss cheese, broiled for 2-3 minutes
  • 1 muesli bar (fruit and nut)
  • 5 saltines crackers (U.S. brand) with 5 dark chocolate squares (or 30g)
  • 1/2 cup pretzels, regular or gluten-free (1 cup is HIGH in FODMAPs) with 1 medium orange
  • 2 rice crispbreads
  • 10 brazil nuts
  • 1 biscuit/cookie cream filled with chocolate coating
  • 5 dark chocolate squares (30g) with 1 serving brie cheese (2 wedges or 40g)
  • 3/4 cup of Nature’s Path EnvironKidz Gorilla Munch cereal with 1 cup almond milk
  • Warm 1 soft gluten-free tortilla in a pan and top with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 1 tablespoon (can have up to 2 tablespoons) low-FODMAP strawberry jam (like Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves)
  • Udi’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin
  • 1 serving Lundberg Farms Sea Salt Rice Chips
  • 1 small bag Pop Chips Original

Other

  • 1 hardboiled egg sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil drizzled on 1 cup of plain air-popped popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 teaspoon cinnamon melted and drizzled on 1 cup of plain air-popped popcorn
  • 1 serving gluten-free Glutino pretzels with 5 dark chocolate squares (or 30g) and 2 slices havarti cheese

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional counseling services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Low-FODMAP Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

I have always loved Valentine’s Day.  Relationship or not, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to go a little further and show someone how much you love them.  Maybe you really love your BFF because she/he has been so good to you – why not surprise them with a bottle of champagne?  Or what about your immediate family – has anyone gone out of their way for you?  Simply sending a card or a virtual card to say “thank you” and “I love you” goes a long way.  Life is truly unpredictable, and sometimes the people we love most appreciate just a little show of affection!  So show someone you care right now.  In fact, you could show someone you care in five minutes with this delicious low-FODMAP mug cake 🙂

Low-FODMAP Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

 

low fodmap mug cake2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill
1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder like Nutivas Naturals
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

1 egg white, large

1 tablespoon smooth natural peanut butter (or allergen-friendly SunButter)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4 tablespoons almond milk, unsweetened

Directions

  1. Bring coconut oil to room temperature or melt just slightly first in microwave
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium size bowl
  3. Add wet ingredients and mix
  4. Spray a mug with oil and transfer batter into mug
  5. Microwaves very but most will bake the mug cake at 1 minute on high

And if you want to be on the healthier side, here is my:

Healthy Chocolate Mug Cake

 

2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour
1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon turbinado or muscovado sugar

1 egg white, large
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4 tablespoons almond milk, unsweetened

Same directions as above!

Options:

  • Add 1 tablespoon low-FODMAP protein powder like Jay Robb’s Unflavored Egg Protein Powder
  • Use maple syrup instead of coconut palm sugar
  • Add unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Add 1 tablespoon crushed low-FODMAP nuts like walnuts or macadamia nuts
  • Make it vegan by using a flax egg instead of an egg

Enjoy and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

Low-FODMAP Bolognese Sauce for Your Sweetie!

If you’re staying in this Valentine’s Day you may be wondering what you’re going to make for your sweetie!  The good news is there are plenty of low-FODMAP options to enjoy which will also make the cut for anyone not following the diet.

While checking out my friends and colleagues Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley over at http://www.everythinglowfodmap.com  I looked through a couple recipes and found some that I thought you might enjoy making and eating this Valentine’s Day.  Anyone for Bolognese Sauce and gluten-free pasta?  Mmm, yes please!  You can also check out the recipe I shared with them for my Lobster Mac N’ Cheese.

On a side note, I have some very exciting news to share that will help make your low-FODMAP lives a bit easier!  Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to receive the news within the next two weeks!Bolognese-Sauce low-fodmap

This bolognese sauce recipe is easy to make and will pair well with Lambrusco (sparkling wine), which is after all the wine of the Bolognese region. Try these suggestions for Lambrusco here. Other beautiful reds that pair nicely are Barolos and Barbarescos.

Before you dive into the recipe I promised other recipes from Barbara and Kathleen’s website, so here they are!

Try this Arugula Salad with Melon and Basic Salad Dressing before the bolognese and for dessert, love up on these Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Bolognese Sauce

Serves 8Bolognese Sauce

Serve this rich, indulgent sauce over your favorite gluten-free pasta or cooked spaghetti squash. It’s perfect for a warming weekday meal or an elegant dinner party.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled, slightly smashed *please read notes below!
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots
1 pound ground meatball mix (beef, pork, and veal)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon LFM Tomato Paste
1 one-inch x three-inch Parmesan cheese rind
1/2 cup LFM Whipped Cream

*Onions and garlic are soluble in water but not in oil. You can saute onions and or garlic in a dish for a few moments in the oil as long as you remove and discard the pieces, leaving only the oil and/or butter!

Heat oil and butter over medium-low heat in a large stockpot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, until garlic is softened and brown at edges. Remove and discard onion and garlic, leaving oil and butter. Add carrots to oil and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meat and cook, stirring often to break up into bits, for about 10–15 minutes or until meat is fully browned. Add wine and simmer uncovered 10 minutes.Add salt, pepper, nutmeg,  tomatoes, Tomato Paste, and rind, and simmer uncovered 11/2–2 hours more, stirring occasionally. Remove rind, fold in Whipped Cream, and serve.

Source: The Everything® Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet

I hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day and be sure to check back for more recipes!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

Touch Down! Your Low-FODMAP Super Bowl Guide

It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday! The amount of high-FODMAP foods may overwhelm you no matter where you go tomorrow. Just remember it’s ONE DAY of your life and you do have the will power to EAT RIGHT. Eat slowly and be mindful of how much you eat. Overloading the gut with a lot of food can trigger IBS and who wants that for Monday when you go back to the grind? To be on the safe side, you can bring your own low-FODMAP snacks and gluten-free buns or enjoy these foods at the party (make sure they are not made with high-FODMAPs):

low fodmap super bowl

  • Grilled plain chicken wings (Costco sells bags of frozen plain chicken wings)
  • Tacos (without beans, salsa, guacamole. *Know that hot sauce can irritate the gut)
  • Corn tortilla chips
  • Gluten-free crackers
  • Popcorn with butter or salt (1 cup)
  • Eggplant dip (2 tablespoons)
  • Low-FODMAP veggies or fruits
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup (U.S., 1 sachet, AUS, 2 sachets)
  • Burger on a gluten-free bun with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, mayo
  • Cheese – brie, camembert, cheddar, colby, feta, havarti, mozzarella, pecorino
  • Gluten-free french fries, potato wedges or potato skins with cheese (just know these can be a little heavy with oil). French fries do not need to be gluten-free (unless you have a gluten sensitivity) if they are made without other foods fried in batter made from wheat. Gluten-free frozen brands are great to bring along to a party.
  • Beer – 1 can or 375ml
  • Dig into meatballs or sausage as long as you know they’ve not been made with high-FODMAPs
  • Gluten-free cheese pizza with a sauce that doesn’t include garlic or onions
  • Spinach dip made with lactose-free sour cream and lactose-free cream cheese (no onions or garlic)

Reference my grocery list for all foods and servings: http://fodmaplife.com/fodmap-grocery-list/

And remember – slip-ups happen so don’t beat yourself up if you eat a small amount of high-FODMAPs.  If you have too many high-FODMAPs you’ll need to start the diet over again.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

 

On A Quest for Chewing Gum, Low in FODMAPs!

If you like gum, this post is for you.  If you like to blow and pop bubbles with your gum, sadly you’ll need to leave that life behind because the type of gum I am going to share with you doesn’t have those magical powers, but it is still gum.  Real gum.  Do you know what that means?

Before I get into this post I want to stress that the act of chewing gum can cause you to swallow more air which can create gas.  However knowing my readers and social media followers really well, many of you still want gum and ask me about it often. I’ve found something for you and I actually like it too.

First a little about you.  You need to chew a little gum here and there.  Maybe to use after you eat when you can’t get to the sink to brush your teeth, maybe before meeting someone new, maybe to stave off a craving (which doesn’t actually work, it can make cravings worse) or maybe unfortunately because you are stressed (which is the worst time to chew gum).

What’s In Your Chewing Gum?  Why Should You Care?

Now a little about the gum you’re most likely chewing and have been chomping on for years and years.  Here is a list of the most common and potentially dangerous ingredients found in most chewing gums today:

  • Aspartame – it is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in gum, some foods and beverages.  It’s much sweeter than sugar (only a little is needed) and cheaper as well which is probably why it’s used.  There is still no conclusive evidence over aspartame’s possible long-term negative effects, however, it’s artificial and the fact that it does cause controversy might be reason enough to avoid it, don’t you think?
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) – is a toluene-based ingredient and used as a preservative in gum, food and personal care products.  It is banned in some other countries but it’s still used here in the U.S. and has been linked to organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).  The European Food Safety Authority has cited it as a “known human immune toxicant or allergen.”  So tell me again why is this stuff still in our food and products?
  • Calcium Casein Peptone (Calcium Phosphate) – this is a highly processed milk derivative used as a texturizer/whitening agent.  It’s mostly used in Trident gum, the same gum my Mother and I chewed for years…
  • Gum was once made with the latex sap (chicle) of the sapodilla tree or other tree saps. Now most gum bases are made of plasticizers, elastomers, fillers and resins, also known as polyvinyl acetate (carpenter’s glue), petroleum-derived paraffin wax, and talc (absorbs moisture, anti-caking agent, bulking agent), a known carcinogen that has been linked to ovarian cancer and tumors in the lungs.
  • Titanium Oxide – “a possible carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence in experimental animals and inadequate evidence from epidemiological studies.”  In chewing gum, it is often used as a whitening agent and may be linked to autoimmune disorders, asthma, and Crohn’s disease.
  • Sugar alcohols (polyols) – yes there are “natural brands” that make “safer” gums with sugar alcohols to make them sugar-free, but if you are prone to IBS and are also following the low-FODMAP diet, you know that sugar alcohols can trigger intestinal discomfort – gas, bloating, or diarrhea if you consume too much.  Wrigley shares the types of sugar alcohols and some other ingredients it uses on their website: “Several types of high-intensity sweeteners are used in Wrigley’s sugar-free products and as flavor enhancers in some other brands. These artificial sweeteners deliver long-lasting, noncaloric taste and do not promote tooth-decay.
    • Acesulfame K
    • Aspartame
    • Maltitol
    • Sucralose
    • Sorbitol
    • Xylitol”

OK so you don’t really eat gum, so what’s the problem anyway?  Consider what Thomas Corriher’s article on Healthwyze.org says: “the assumption is that if the gum is not swallowed, then the ingredients should not be a concern. However, the ingredients in gum travel into the blood stream faster and in higher concentrations than food ingredients, because they absorb directly through the walls of the mouth, and these ingredients do not undergo the normal filtration process of digestion.”

Now for a Natural Gum That’s Low in FODMAPs

Yes a better gum does exist, but again, if you purchase this brand, consider not gnawing through the whole package.  The pieces of gum are smaller than most gums you are used to, so that’s probably better for all of you with IBS!  If you really need to have some gum, have a little bit at a time and chew slow and with your mouth closed.  I am not condoning gum chewing, I am simply giving you an option!

I really like Simply Gum for a couple of reasons.  First it’s made with a natural chicle base  – remember, the original gum base?  The gum base that’s also been around for thousands of years (people have been chewing gum for a long time!).  Also they do not use sugar alcohols. Here are the other ingredients:

  • Organic Raw Cane Sugar
  • Organic Vegetable Glycerin
  • Organic Soy Lecithin
  • Organic Rice Flour
  • Natural Flavor –  like mint, cinnamon, maple, ginger, coffee and fennel licorice – all low-FODMAP flavors!

And what does Simply Gum have to say about gum in general?  “The regular chewing gum you see on grocery store shelves is filled with artificial substances, including some of the same components used in the manufacture of car tires, plastic bottles, and white glue, as well as artificial sweeteners like aspartame….Consumers are kept in the dark about what they are chewing because the FDA allows conventional gum brands to hide up to 80 synthetic ingredients in the catch-all term ‘gum base’ on the label.  Although there are a few gum brands in the US market claiming to be ‘natural,’ all of them include synthetics in their base.  We knew we could do better.”  And better they did!  Try them out and let me know what you think.  Here is where you can find them in stores.  Or you can buy them online here:

*Please note – this product has not been formerly tested and analyzed for its FODMAP content, however the ingredients used are low in FODMAPs which may make it suitable for most to consume.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Low-FODMAP Nuts and Servings

Oh nuts!  This guide went over very well on Facebook so I thought I’d share it here.  Here is my quick reference for nuts on the low-FODMAP diet.  If you are new to the low-FODMAP diet, know that pistachios and cashews are high in FODMAPs, containing high amounts of the Oligos-GOS and fructans, so they should be avoided.

Print

Here is the PDF if you’d like to download it and print! low fodmap servings nuts

 

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Valentine’s Day Low-FODMAP Sirloin Tip Roast

Red meat isn’t something I eat on a regular basis; it’s never been a food that I’ve craved often.  I am more into chicken and turkey or any kind of seafood.  I think it’s due to the fact that lean meats and fish have just been historically good to my gut.  With that said I don’t consider myself really good at cooking red meat, though I am making an effort because I am after all, married to someone who’s culture is largely made up of meat-eating happy dancing people…can you guess the country?  One hint – they dance the samba :).

Valentine’s Day always makes me think of steak and red wine.  I’m not sure why.  Could it be from all the advertisements growing up or what I’ve seen in the movies?  That romance means dining at steakhouses?  Italian food also makes me think of romance.  My husband were both on solo trips when we met in Rome and we had a very romantic affair with food and wine – we drank tons of red wine and enjoyed tons of Tajarini Al Tartufo and nutella.  Ahhh the days before my low-FODMAP Life!

Wondering what low-FODMAP foods you can enjoy on Valentine’s Day?  Take a look at my tips from last year

So in the spirit of our LOVE holiday coming up, I created and tested my recipe for Low-FODMAP Sirloin Tip Roast with some zucchini and tomato quinoa (recipe below) and my husband and I enjoyed a little Cabernet Sauvignon from my friend Bridget who is a Certified Sommelier and currently working towards her Advanced Sommelier exam (lots and lots of nerdy wine knowledge and tasting needed).  Side story – I met Bridget while working at a wine shop in San Diego.  One day while stacking bottles we managed to figure out that we had both once lived in Boston, in the same exact areas, on the same street and in the exact same apartment but lived there at different times!  We’ve had many other things in common since then (like buying the same exact pair of purple heels  – how many times will you buy purple shoes in your life?) and Swanson Vineyards is one of them.  It’s probably one of her favorite vineyards and it’s the location my husband chose to ask me to marry him – on her birthday no less.  My husband didn’t plan where he was going to ask me to marry him, it was just that everything at Swanson was perfect.  I had tried some wines before actually visiting Swanson but the experience being there was ethereal.  Imagine sitting underneath swaying maple trees next to a french-looking barn with an all-women staff walking around in long bohemian dresses, filling glasses and placing chocolate on your table.  You can smell and see pink roses peaking around the corners of the barn and a man with a raspy voice playing an old instrument and singing in French (we were told later he was the voice for the French car in the movie Cars).

If you are making a trip to Napa definitely go and see Swanson but call ahead for a tasting reservation.  Also I need to note that Vosges is one of my top favorite chocolate brands (from Chicago) and they make the Alexis bonbons offered at Swanson – grab a box of those too!

Low-FODMAP Sirloin Tip Roast and Zucchini Tomato Quinoa

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. Stir in olive oil, and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Place roast on prepared baking sheet, and spread herb and spice mixture on all sides using a spoon.
  4. Roast 1 hour in preheated oven, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145°F. Let sit 15 minutes before slicing into long thin slices.
  5. Meanwhile while roast is in oven, prepare quinoa.  Place quinoa in a pot with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil then turn heat to low and cover.  Peel and cut up zucchini into small chunks.  Add to pot along with tomatoes and olive oil.  Cook for 10-15 minutes or until quinoa is tender.  Serve with a cabernet sauvignon or a pinot noir and enjoy some dark chocolate (5 squares or 30 grams) for dessert!  Enjoy lovers!!

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Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

You’ve Got IBS. Should You Try Bone Broth?

low fodmap bone brothAnytime I hear of some “new” diet or a food trend touting magical powers I am always a bit skeptical (like most people!).  When I first learned about the low-FODMAP diet I was also on the fence until I kept digging, and digging and digging to find that the diet actually did work, was backed by science and it wasn’t a fad.  Which brings me to bone broth.  How long will the bone broth trend stay around?  Is it so 2015?  Will it not turn into a fad and become something greater….and…will it help when my IBS gets out of control?  If you are wondering the same, keep reading as I have done a little bit of research for you and also included a low-FODMAP bone broth recipe for you to try.

Bone broth isn’t new and it certainly isn’t fancy or hard to make.  You might have heard about bone broth or stock in circles of those following the paleo diet but it really can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys meat.  The nutritional value of bone broth varies depending on the amount or types of bones used, the amount or types of vegetables and also how long the broth is cooked.  As food trends go, I like this one because it’s influenced more people to cook at home and with natural ingredients.  I’ve also heard some people are ditching coffee for bone broth because of the way it makes them feel once they start the day. If you are on the low-FODMAP diet and find that coffee irritates your gut (check my grocery list to see which types of coffee or tea are low in FODMAPs), bone broth could be another satisfying drink for you.

What are people saying about bone broth?  Many say this centuries-old concoction containing collagen, amino acids and minerals has powerful healing properties, so powerful that bone broth can help soothe an angry gut, alleviate join pain, boost immunity, as well as brighten your complexion and give your hair some shine.  As for our guts, its possible that the gelatin in bone broth from the cartilage of different animals can help with leaky gut, gut flora imbalances (dysbiosis), chronic diarrhea, constipation, and some food intolerances.  Again this is all possible, but little scientific evidence exists to prove bone broth is a magical, healing wonder-drink.  One thing is for sure, the ingredients in bone broth are nutritious all on their own and when you have IBS, it’s wise to consider eating as many natural and un-processed foods as possible.  When we eat processed foods our guts and our bodies don’t know what to do with man-made food additives like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup, a high-FODMAP), artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, trans fats and MSG to name just a couple.

I’ve been given two books to review that cover the basics of bone broth, how to live healthier and a plan to follow using bone broth to help detox the body as well as heal the gut.  They are both great books but do not include 100% low-FODMAP foods or low-FODMAP bone broth recipes.  I am not going to include them here on FODMAPLife.com but you can read my reviews on them herelow fodmap bone broth1

So beyond all the things people are claiming bone broth is capable of doing for our health, there’s one thing that is for certain – I’m hearing several people say they feel good after drinking it.  That lead me to create a low-FODMAP bone broth recipe to try at home and guess what.  I really enjoyed it.  I liked the taste and I also felt it calmed my insides during a recent bout with IBS.  I had been slightly distended for a couple days but after drinking the broth, I felt less tension in my abdomen and by evening my stomach was back to it’s normal size.  Yes it’s possible something else could have tamed my insides or it might have just been the fact that I took a moment out to calmly sip the warm broth.  Either way, I have more bone broth leftover and I will be drinking it again soon.

low fodmap bone broth2

Consider trying this recipe to have bone broth on hand for when your gut needs a little boost.  You just need a couple ingredients, an oven and a slow cooker.  If you’re not sure about bone broth, I have found chicken soup to be very helpful when my gut is not doing so hot, and a few studies back up chicken soup’s medicinal value, possibly from the combination of nutrient-dense chicken and vegetables.  You can always make your own low-FODMAP chicken broth, stock or soup at home.  If you try making any other bone broth recipes make sure not to include high-FODMAPs  that are most commonly found in the ingredients like onions, mushrooms, garlic, cider vinegar and honey.

low fodmap bone broth3

Low-FODMAP Bone Broth

Makes 5 cups (40 ounces) or more, depending on how much water you use

  • 1 pound beef bones – preferably from 100% grass fed, pasture raised cattle that are hormone and antibiotic free.  I only used brisket bones but you can use one type of bone or a mixture.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stalk celery*
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place bones on a baking sheet and coat all sides with olive oil.  Place in oven and roast for 1 hour, turning once.
  3. Meanwhile, cut off ends of celery and cut into chunks.  Cut off ends of carrot, peel and cut into chunks.
  4. Remove bones from oven and place in a slow cooker.  Add in carrot, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, turmeric (anti-inflammatory spice), vinegar, carrot and celery.  Stir to combine.  Cover with enough water to cover all ingredients and cook for 8-10 hours.
  5. Remove cover from slow cooker and skim off fat.  Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour bone broth through strainer, throwing away vegetables and bones.  You may also keep meat from bones to make a soup or add to stir fry.
  6. Place broth in canning jars and store in refrigerator for 4-5 days or pour into 1-cup muffin trays and place in freezer until frozen.  Then pop out and place into bags and record date cooked; freeze for up to 2 months.

*A low-FODMAP per person serving for celery is a 1/4 medium stalk.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

 

Come with Me to the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego!

I am happy to announce that I’ll be on the San Diego, CA team for the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo (GFAF)!  For someone who loves to spend extra time in the grocery store reading labels and checking out new products, you could just say that expos such as the GFAF really excite me.  I’ll be attending Expo West again this year in March, but until then you can find me at the GFAF looking for some new gluten-free products made with ingredients that are low in FODMAPs.

If you are in the Southern California area and would like to attend the GFAF, you may BUY TICKETS HERE and you will definitely have to send me a message so we can meet.  Don’t forget to share your social media links with me too.  You can also try to WIN tickets via my giveaway on Facebook and Instagram on January 28th!

gfafSo what is the GFAF all about?  The expo is a combination of exhibitor booths and educational classes related to gluten-free and allergen-friendly living.  All foods are gluten-free, plus, each exhibitor booth will be labeled with an allergen card, helping you understand which common allergens may or may not be contained in the products and samples.  Vendors will also include companies with health & beauty items, vitamins & supplements and other services for a gluten-free and allergen-friendly lifestyle.  Several brands will be exhibiting including the big guns in gluten-free foods like Glutino, Udi’s, Enjoy Life, Daiya, Van’s and Earth Balance.

Another great aspect to the show is the coupons and samples given out by vendors – you will be given a reusable bag to carry a few items back home with you (and they do encourage filling your bags up)!  If you are going to grab a sample it’s always nice to talk to the exhibitors and ask questions.  If you can’t stop to say hi, be sure to say thanks!  I’ve found that by taking the time to ask questions I learn more about the food products than can be expressed on the label or packaging.  When I have the time, I also love learning the origin to the brand’s story.

One of my favorite 100% gluten-free restaurants will be there, 2Good2B Bakery and Cafe.  I am lucky to live close by to Diane Benedeck’s establishment in Encinitas, CA and I can’t say enough about her menu.  Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, baked breads or sweet treats you need, she’s got it.  I can’t find many places that are 100% gluten-free (there are only two that I know of in San Diego!).  Diane once suffered from fibromyalgia, pain, a defective thyroid (Hashimotos, like me) and fatigued adrenals but has since turned her life around omitting gluten, corn and soy from her diet.  You can learn more about Diane here and 2Good2B here.

gluten free allergen friendly expo san diego

“How can I win tickets?”  Simply go to my Facebook and Instagram page on January 28th for details and please share this blog post with friends!

Some things to consider if you plan on attending:

  • The San Diego GFAF will be held on February 20-21, from 10am-4pm
  • Parking is $10, cash only
  • You will receive a free reusable bag to hold your goodies from the expo
  • If you need to bring a stroller the expo asks that you only bring a single stroller
  • If you or your guest are in a wheelchair, you may be more comfortable on Sunday since the aisles are less crowded
  • You may purchase items while at the show but know that some vendors take credit cards, and some only cash
  • All classes are included with your entry ticket.  Take a look at the classes offered

Location:

Del Mar Fairgrounds-Wyland Center
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014-2216
858-755-1161
www.delmarfairgrounds.com

If you’re planning on going to the expo please contact me and share your social media links with me so we can connect during the show!

BUY TICKETS HERE

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

Low-FODMAP Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

low fodmap chocolate peanut butter truffles4It’s been raining in California lately and I love it.  Looking out the window I can’t help but remember rainy lazy days in New York, the rain spattering off the deck and weighing down the leaves in our big back yard on Long Island.  Rain barely falls here in California, and when it does it symbolizes a sort of calm to me – maybe it’s just nostalgia or the sound and smell of rain is just calming in of itself.  Rainy days like these are also a great time to to make desserts if I may say so myself.  What’s your favorite dish to cook on a rainy day?

Today I had a lot of fun making these Low-FODMAP Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels. They are made with just three ingredients – natural peanut butter, dark chocolate and gluten-free pretzels – that’s it!  They don’t take long to make, but better, they are lower in sugar than many other holiday desserts.  They are both salty and sweet and are made with dark chocolate, which is low in FODMAPs and dairy free.  Low-FODMAP diet or not, dark chocolate is always a better choice.  Remember to stick to dark chocolate that is low in fiber, does not contain milk or milk products (most dark chocolate do not by default), inulin, dried fruits or other high-FODMAPs like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), agave or honey.

Here are some more recent holiday recipes I’ve shared:

Empty cookbook for Christmas recipes on wooden tableIngredients

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy is best)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free pretzels
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Lay a piece of parchment paper across a cookie sheet or large, flat plate.
  2. Place pretzels in a bowl and crush with a meat tenderizer, other heavy kitchen utensil or crush gently in between palms.
  3. Combine peanut butter and pretzels in bowl.  Remove about a teaspoon at a time of peanut butter pretzel mixture and form into little balls.  Place on cookie sheet or plate in freezer and cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Just before removing peanut butter balls from freezer, melt chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1:30.  Be careful to not overheat.  Chocolate is ready when you can smoothly stir it with a spoon.
  5. Use a tablespoon and dip into melted chocolate.  Roll peanut butter pretzel balls on spoon to coat and place on cookie sheet.  Once done with all balls, drip any extra chocolate over balls and swirl around tops with spoon.  Chill for at least 30 minutes then serve.

low fodmap chocolate peanut butter truffles3

 

 

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Enjoy the holidays!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

Low-FODMAP Roasted Carrots with Turmeric Maple Mint Dressing

low fodmap roasted carrotsI love simple recipes.  Sometimes I am in the mood (or have the time) for complex recipes, however with Christmas and New Years right around the corner, today is about simple.  My  Low-FODMAP Roasted Carrots with Turmeric Maple Mint Dressing is simple, easy and will be loved by your guests, adults and children.  If you’ve not been to my blog lately, make sure you check out these other low-FODMAP holiday recipe ideas:

And back to these carrots!  You can make them ahead of time and store in an air-tight container in your refrigerator and serve cold or make immediately and serve while still hot.  Either way, your guests will love the tender roasted carrots and the earthy, slightly sweet dressing.

Empty cookbook for Christmas recipes on wooden table

Ingredients

  • 1 pound organic carrots
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

low fodmap carrots with turmeric maple mint dressing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and peel carrots and trim ends.  Slice carrots lengthwise.  In a medium-sized bowl, toss carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer carrots to a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or a roasting pan, cut side down.  Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
  4. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by adding in 3 tablespoons olive oil, turmeric, lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, mint and 1/8 teaspoon salt and whisk together until combined.
  5. Transfer carrots to a serving platter or dish and toss with dressing.

 

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Enjoy the holidays!

Colleen Francioli
Certified Nutritionist Consultant

Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalmecolleen frnacioli

 

 

Look! It’s the FODMAP Life 2015 Gift Guide

Happy Holidays to you!  If you have IBS, I hope this holiday season is easy on your gut!  I have hand selected a list of gift ideas for those of us with tummy troubles.  Share this list with friends and family or treat yourself!

White And Gold

Here’s my 2015 Gift Guide

For the home:

poo pourri low fodmapPoo-Pourri Secret Santa  Bathroom Spray.

Expecting guests?  Or would you like to keep your bathroom smelling just as nice as the rest of your festive home or office?  Poo~Pourri Secret Santa is a blend of cinnamon, vanilla and citrus natural essential oils.  This spray helps to eliminate bathroom odor before it begins by creating a barrier on the water’s surface. Pou~Pourri calls it a “Spritzmas miracle!” and it is! Buy it here.

 

 

For Your Diet:

Uncle Harry’s Wheat-Free Asafoetida Powder is 50% OFF when you order here and use the code “FODMAPLife” at checkout!

 

 

 

LoveBug Probiotics are 20% OFF when you order here and use the code “FODMAP20” at checkout!

 

 

 

 

Harney & Sons Peppermint Herbal Decaf Tea: I love Harney & Sons teas, it’s definitely my favorite brand.  When I am not feeling my best and trying to soothe distention, constipation or a little stress, I sip this tea.  Buy it here.

 

 

Monash FODMAP App: Buy an iTunes gift card for your friend with IBS so they can download the The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App!  This is an essential app to have to reference while out shopping for food, dining out or attending parties or events.  It’s the only source you should trust for determining which foods are high or low in FODMAPs and the app gives you the appropriate servings for each food.

Low Fodmap Serving Platter, Low Fodmap Chopping Board is 20% OFF for my fans!  Use the code  “FODMAPLife” at checkout!

Kasia the creator of this beautiful and ever-so helpful piece says: “I made this board as I have a large list of food intolerances under the string of carbohydrates listed under the acronym Low FODMAP, and know what it’s like to get accidentally FODMAP attacked.” Buy it here

  • Ships worldwide from Auckland, New Zealand
  • ***Will not arrive in time for Christmas (if shipping Internationally outside of NZ), but if you order now you could always print a picture of her piece and put it inside your Christmas card 🙂

Buy Low-FODMAP Products Online:

Access my list of food products with links of where to buy them online.  My list contains products that have ingredients low in FODMAPs.  They should not trigger symptoms of IBS, just be sure to always pay attention to serving sizes (never eat anything in excess, everything in moderation). All of these products are super helpful to have on hand and make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who is following the low-FODMAP diet.

For Your Book Collection

Low-FODMAP Diet

everything low fodmap diet book bolenThe Everything Guide To The Low-Fodmap Diet: A Healthy Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders by Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley, CPC.  Dr. Barbara Bolen, an IBS specialist, provides advice and tips for developing a personalized and realistic healthy eating plan. And with 150 low-FODMAP and gluten-free recipes, you can reduce digestive distress and feel great while enjoying satisfying and nutritious meals! With this book you can learn how to:

  • Understand food allergies and intolerance
  • Identify high- and low-FODMAP foods
  • Eliminate FODMAP sources from your diet
  • Stock your pantry for success
  • Create your own personalized diet based on your unique needs
  • Re-create favorite recipes using low-FODMAP ingredients


ibs free recipesIBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family (The Flavor without FODMAPs Series) (Volume 2)
 by Lisa Rothstein recipe developer, Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LDN and Karen Warman MS, RD, LDN (learn more about the authors here).  From lunch-box to the briefcase, picnic to dinner party and after-school snacks to dessert, these ladies have shared a few delicious low-FODMAP recipes for the whole family to enjoy.  If you or a family member are following the low-FODMAP there’s no need to make separate meals as everyone can enjoy these recipes together.  In this book you’ll find: Tips and precautions for using the FODMAP approach with children; Menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Snack ideas; Lists of low-FODMAP foods (updated 9/2015); Flavor without FODMAPs in over 110 recipes; Low-FODMAP versions of family favorites.

Gluten-Free


Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook: 281 Delicious Whole-Grain Recipes
 by Camilla Saulsbury.  This book in its entirety is not recommended for the low-FODMAP diet, however some recipes are low-FODMAP or need slight alterations to make them low-FODMAP.  Here are a few I researched:

  • Bok Choy Chia Salad (low-FODMAP)
  • Avocado, Orange and Millet Salad (low-FODMAP if you swap honey for maple syrup and serve 1/8th serving each from the whole avocado)
  • Zucchini and Millet Salad (low-FODMAP)
  • Kale and Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette (low-FODMAP as long as you use the green tips of the onions)
  • Multi-Seed Bread (low-FODMAP)
  • Quinoa Banana Bread (low-FODMAP)
  • Carrot Bread with Coconut and Cardamom (low-FODMAP)

The Gluten-Free Table: The Lagasse Girls Share Their Favorite Meals by Jilly Lagasse.  If you’re a foodie, you might automatically think of Emeril Lagasse when you hear or see the word BAM!  Well this king of the kitchen has two talented daughters that cooked up a really good book of gluten-free recipes.  This book is not recommended for the low-FODMAP diet but it’s great for any of your friends who are following a gluten-free diet (and it’s great to draw on some inspiration for low-FODMAP recipes if you know what to swap out).


Digestive Health with REAL Food- The CookbookDigestive Health with REAL Food: The Cookbook
 by Aglaee Jacob.  Aglaée Jacob, M.S., R.D., has had a lifelong interest in the connection between food and health, and her personal health struggles led her to deepen her knowledge in the field of digestive health. She offers personalized, holistic nutrition counseling to clients around the world, specializing in digestive health, blood sugar regulation and fertility, and is the author of paleo-dietician.com. Try these recipes:

  • Faux Muffins
  • Speedy Recovery Soup
  • Herb-Infused Oil
  • Creamy Cream-Free Ice Cream

Mind & Body

Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel.  I love this book.  It’s beautifully designed and you get to write in it and get creative with your thinking.  It’s inspiring, empowering and because it’s interactive, it helps relieve stress.  Often times when I consult with clients and help them with diet and nutrition, they tend to have a few things weighing heavy on their minds.  Financial stress is probably the number one complaint, as well a feeling of being stuck in another situation that makes them unhappy (weight or body image, a relationship or job).  Having these issues to contend with doesn’t help when you suffer from IBS, in fact compared to healthy people who do not have IBS, personal issues from stress can make IBS worse.  The book uses four steps that help you to reveal hidden skills and wisdom, teaching non-designers how to create a meaningful life using a proprietary creative process, Deconstruction:Reconstruction™.  So go ahead, design the life you’ve always wanted!  It’s never too late.

Digestive Intelligence: A Holistic View of Your Second Brain by Irina Matveikova.  This book teaches you about your digestive system, how it is at the center of your body’s second brain and how we think and live our emotions via our stomachs.  She talks about the connection between emotions and digestion and the way our digestive system influences our mood and character.

I hope you enjoy these gift ideas and have a very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant

Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

 

Low-FODMAP Holiday Side Dish: Creamy Rosemary Polenta

Empty cookbook for Christmas recipes on wooden table

Just because you’re following the low-FODMAP diet, doesn’t mean you can’t make dishes that both you and your guests can enjoy!  Whether you are hosting at your place or going to a potluck, I’ve got a few delicious low-FODMAP holiday recipes for you that everyone else will love too.  This week I shared my recipe for low-FODMAP Chocolate and Pecan Bread Pudding – it’s gluten-free, dairy free and delectable!  See it here.  And try this low-FODMAP Lemon Olive Oil Cake!

Need a hearty side dish?  You’ll love my low-FODMAP Creamy Rosemary Polenta.  It’s great paired with poultry, fish or vegetarian dishes.  I love the the aroma of rosemary along with the truffle salt and the creaminess of the polenta and Parmesan cheese.  Mmm-mm! Add more cheese if you desire!

Low-FODMAP Creamy Rosemary Polenta

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups low-FODMAP chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups lactose-free milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon truffle salt
  • 1 1/2 cups non-GMO yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper

low fodmap rosemary polenta copy

  1. Place chicken broth, water, milk, rosemary and salt into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in cornmeal, stirring often to prevent lumps, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until well combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a small casserole dish, about 2-quarts. Using a spatula, remove polenta from saucepan and add to casserole dish, spreading evenly in the dish. Sprinkle top with freshly ground black pepper, as much as desired.
  3. Bake until polenta is bubbling and slightly brown on top and along edges; about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper if desired.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant

 

Low-FODMAP Lemon Olive Oil Cake and Book Giveaway!

 

Oh yes, she’s a beauty….low fodmap lemon olive oil cake 1

Gorgeous in every way and so delightful and slightly sweet…

low fodmap lemon olive oil cake 3

This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is beautiful at every angle!

low fodmap lemon olive oil cake 2
Photos: Colleen Francioli, FODMAPLife.com

The recipe for this lovely Lemon Olive Oil Cake is from the book, IBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family (The Flavor without FODMAPs Series) (Volume 2) by Lisa Rothstein recipe developer, Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LDN and Karen Warman MS, RD, LDN (learn more about the authors here).  From lunch-box to the briefcase, picnic to dinner party and after-school snacks to dessert, these ladies have shared a few delicious low-FODMAP recipes for the whole family to enjoy.  If you or a family member are following the low-FODMAP there’s no need to make separate meals as everyone can enjoy these recipes together. 

In this book you’ll find: Tips and precautions for using the FODMAP approach with children; Menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Snack ideas; Lists of low-FODMAP foods (updated 9/2015); Flavor without FODMAPs in over 110 recipes; Low-FODMAP versions of family favorites.

A couple of my favorite recipes from IBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family  include:

  • Quinoa Falafel with Chick Peas
  • Thai Sweet and Salty Pork in Lettuce Wraps
  • Beef Fajitas
  • Mac N’ Cheese with Hidden Squash
  • Savory Sausage and Kale Bread Pudding
  • Cranberry Scones with Orange Glaze
  • Chocolate Fruit and Cookie Dip
  • Chocolate Banana Microwave Mug Cake
  • Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Smoothie

And just in time for the holiday season, the authors and I are holding an Instagram giveaway for this super-helpful book!

low fodmap book giveawayAll you need to do is:

  1. Snap a photo of some culinary inspiration – prepping vegetables or other ingredients, a dish you made, your kitchen, kitchen tools, a vegetable or fruit garden, your favorite chef, your favorite cookbooks – get creative!
  2. Tag @FODMAPLife and use the hashtags #bookgiveaway #lowfodmap  That’s it!

U.S. residents only please, thank you!  Four winners will be chosen, good luck!

Enjoy this recipe! It almost reminds me of the lemon loaf I once had long ago at Starbucks. It’s great for a holiday dessert or have it in the morning with low-FODMAP tea!  Top it with berries or more lemon zest.  Also you can buy pre-toasted/roasted almonds, but I enjoyed toasting my own at home.  Just spread a ½ cup of unsalted raw almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350°F, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 12 – 15 minutes.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Cake:

  • ½ cup whole toasted almonds
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • 1 cup Low-FODMAP all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup lactose-free yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Lemon Glaze:

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray or oil. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper and spray the paper.
  2. Pulse toasted almonds and 1/2 cup sugar together in a food processor in short 5-10 second bursts to grind nuts until they resemble coarse flour.  Add flour, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and zest and pulse to combine.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer.  Beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar until mixture is lemon colored, about 2 minutes.  With beater on low, drizzle in olive oil until incorporated, then mix in yogurt and almond extract.  Slowly drizzle in lemon juice.  Add flour and almond mixture and beat for one minute on medium speed.
  4. Pour batter into cake pan and bake in the middle of the oven until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes.  Cool cake in pan.  Turn cake out onto serving platter and peel off parchment.
  5. Stir glaze ingredients together in a small bowl to make a thin, pourable glaze.  Drizzle glaze over cake, letting it run over the sides.  Serve with berries.

Servings: 10

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Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant

Low-FODMAP Holiday Chocolate and Pecan Bread Pudding

LOW FODMAP BREAD PUDDING

Low-FODMAP Chocolate & Pecan Bread Pudding

IMG_6573

This recipe is low-FODMAP, gluten-free and dairy-free!  It’s deliciously gooey and will make a wonderful dish to enjoy this holiday season!  We don’t have any leftovers here at my house…enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. or 4 gluten-free ciabatta rolls
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla lavender sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed or halved pecans
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 13.5 oz can quality coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a bread pan.
  2. Tear ciabatta rolls into pieces and place into greased pan. Sprinkle on cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla lavender sugar, half of light brown sugar and half of chocolate chips and half of pecans.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk and eggs. Add in vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  4. Pour egg mixture over bread. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, then return and using a spoon, push down any bread pieces that have not absorbed eggs and coconut milk. Return again 5 minutes later and push bread down again. Top with remaining brown sugar, chocolate chips and pecans.
  5. Place bread pan in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until brown and crispy on top.  Lift a portion of the bread pudding up with a spatula to ensure no runny egg liquid can be found.

Notes

  • If you can’t find vanilla lavender sugar, you can use vanilla sugar or make the recipe without it.
  • If you cannot find ciabatta rolls, look for other gluten-free dinner rolls, or just use about 6-7 slices of gluten-free bread.
  • Allow the bread pudding to sit for at least a half hour for better consistency.  Tastes awesome the next day too! 👍🏻

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Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant

Low-FODMAP Holiday Survival Guide

people, holidays, junk food and fast food concept - happy young

It’s such a wonderful time –  the holidays are here!  This year is especially wonderful for my husband and I as we have a baby to celebrate with.  He’ll be seven months old by the time Christmas arrives and I can’t wait to dress him up in all the beautiful red, white and green pajamas my family gave to him (all cute, no ugly sweaters!).

Stressing Out?

  • OK so the holidays aren’t all about fun cheery things.  I know, because the holidays can sometimes stress me out.  If you don’t take time out for yourself every day, start now.  This time of year can trigger symptoms of IBS. Make sure to add in some stress relief every day.  Walking, yoga, meditation, light exercise, relaxing with a hot cup of decaf green tea, taking a warm bath, or just taking a moment to admire the beauty around you and ALL you are grateful for.

Stay On Track My Friend!

Have your Low-FODMAP Grocery List and High-FODMAP Foods to Avoid on hand.  The holidays come with an array of foods, most of which are high in FODMAPs, unhealthy and not part of your daily diet.  If you are new to the diet, study these lists often.  Opt to eat healthy as much as you can this month and make low-FODMAP recipes at home to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.  Scan the lists for foods you normally don’t buy and try something new!  Get acquainted with all the delicious low-FODMAP fruits, veggies, lactose-free products, grains, seeds and nuts you can have.

Going to an office party, family or friend’s house?  

  • Tell the host you’re excited for the party and ask what foods will be available.  Offer to make a dish (or two – an appetizer and entree), this way you’ll have plenty to eat.
  • Avoid wheat, anything with onions or garlic, sauces, gravies or anything for which you’re not certain of the ingredients!
  • Choose low-FODMAP veggies, nuts and cheese to snack on to keep you satiated.  Avoid salad dressings and dips.
  • For dessert, stick to dark chocolate if possible– up to 5 squares or 30 grams is low in FODMAPs and most people with IBS should be able to tolerate this amount.  Otherwise if gluten-free sweets are available, enjoy those but please – don’t go overboard!
  • Drink plenty of water and no rum or sweet wine!  Here’s the low-down on alcohol for the Low-FODMAP Diet:
    • Red, Sparkling, Sweet, White, Dry – 1/2 glass (75 ml) to 1 glass (150 ml) is low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Beer – 1/2 can (188 ml) or 1 can (375 ml) is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Gin – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml) is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Rum – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml) has excess amounts of fructose which makes it HIGH in FODMAPs and should be avoided.
    • Vodka – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml)  is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Whiskey – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml)  is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.

Gift Baskets, Goodies, Oh Joy!

Ahh yes.  Every year we receive gift baskets to our home.  Lots of them!  If you work a desk job you may very well see plenty of them floating around, as well as bowls full of candy.  My tip?  Choose one piece as long as you know it’s low in FODMAPs.  Having a second or third or fourth might seem OK, but in reality, A) you may not know all the ingredients B) is it right to overload your gut with sugar? C) if you’re trying to avoid holiday weight gain, treating yourself to one piece will certainly help!

What’s On Your List?

Got loved ones asking about which gifts you would like?  If you don’t have any of these books, I highly recommend asking for them so you can kick off the New Year with some solid advice and great recipes:

Please Remain Seated

If you’re traveling by plane, take a few low-FODMAP snacks with you!  No one likes to be hungry (and bored) on a plane.  Avoid soda because most are made with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) but soda is also carbonated, which can lead to gas (and there’s no hiding that, especially on a plane).  Avoid fruit juices as well (cranberry is OK – 1 glass or 250 ml).  Vegetable juice is OK – 1 glass or 200 ml.  Just make sure you follow up tomato juice with plenty of water as tomato juice has a lot of sodium.

If you’re staying at a resort, call ahead or check out the menu online to see what choices you have.  Look for gluten-free options.  Inquire to see if they can cater to your dietary needs.  Bring your Low-FODMAP Grocery List and High-FODMAP Foods to Avoid list to ensure you stay on track.  If the resort is willing to work on some alternatives for you, go ahead and share your lists with them.

For more traveling tips, check out this post from my guest blogger Shoshana: TRAVELING on the Low FODMAP diet: Tips to keep the belly happy (and a simple recipe)

Please comment below and take care!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant

IBS, Our Emotional Well-Being and Our Second Brain

Although our gastrointestinal tracts can affect our mood or happiness, our everyday emotional well-being may rely on messages from our second brain in the gut to our brain above.

low fodmap diet stressIf you experience psychological issues like stress, depression or anxiety, all can affect the movement and contractions in your GI tract. The result? Inflammation, infection and the inability to digest certain foods.  Did you know that the reason you may be moody might be due to what your gut is telling your brain?

There is a strong link between the brain and the gut. Many in the field of health and science believe the nerves in our gut, which are actually controlled by our second brain (located within the gut), influence negative emotions, stress or anxiety. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Whether we are angry or sad, relaxed or anxious, all can trigger symptoms in the gut! The brain can influence our perception of what is happening in the gut as well as the activity or “tuning” of the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) “gut brain.”

Issues in your gut can affect your energy level, weight, mood, or may lead to premature aging, chronic disease or allergies. When you have IBS, a healthy diet is imperative, but so is taking care of the mind and body.

By taking care of the mind you may help relax your body and your gut.  Why would you need to try and relax the gut?  Because it’s possibly your gut that’s triggering changes in your mood.

“For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems (symptoms of IBS). But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology.  Researchers now have evidence that when your gastrointestinal system experiences irritation, it may be sending signals to the central nervous system (CNS), triggering changes in your mood.

“These new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety,” Pasricha says. “That’s important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.”

“A person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected — so intimately that they should be viewed as one system.” Harvard Health Publications.

Everyone’s brain-gut interaction is different and several factors can contribute like: state of mind (stressed, relaxed), surrounding environment (pollutants, temperature), distractions (people, technology), past experiences (good and bad) and the gut’s sensitivity to stimuli. The ENS is the master controller, mixing and moving contents around the gut, via a system of complex nerves in the walls of the gut. The ENS can sense what’s happening in the gut and it then controls motility; it is connected to the brain and can be influenced by signals but it can also work solo with its own networks of neurons (nerves).

What Can You Do?

  • Seek out mind-body therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medical hypnotherapy
  • Talk therapy
  • Meditate
  • Gentle exercise like yoga, Pilates, qigong, tai chi, stretching, swimming, golfing, light aerobics, or an easy bike ride.

What Else?

  • Eat slowly
  • Eat without distraction
  • Cook for yourself
  • Get creative

and finally

Be good to yourself –it’s one of the best gifts you can give. If negative talk is part of your everyday life, you need to start saying nicer things –to yourself. Become your own health advocate and learn as much about the low-FODMAP diet as you can. Use your Food & Symptom Diary everyday. Become more connected to healthy foods and cooking for yourself. Everyday send positive energy to your gut. Remind yourself why you are awesome. Life is full of ups and downs. There will always be hard times – have a plan in place for when disaster strikes so you can keep your gut, body and mind as healthy and calm as possible. Eat well, meditate, exercise and be grateful for all the positives in your life, and all the negatives that made you stronger.

Learn more about the Brain-Gut connection by downloading a free infographic here

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant

 

 

 

Sources:

The Brain-Gut Connection, Johns Hopkins Medicine

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders

Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being The emerging and surprising view of how the enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just processing the food we eat. By Adam Hadhazy | February 12, 2010.

Irritable bowel syndrome: A microbiome-gut-brain axis disorder? Paul J Kennedy, John F Cryan, Timothy G Dinan, and Gerard Clarke World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct 21; 20(39): 14105–14125. Published online 2014 Oct 21. doi:  10.3748/wjg.v20.i39.14105

 

Low-FODMAP Recipe Challenge with Deniz of Fructopia!

Hello out there! I know it’s been a while since I have written a post, but life is so busy lately.  Hate to sound corny but I am truly living the phrase “when it rains it pours” but it a very positive way!  Lots of great things happening on my end and I hope with you too.

I especially hope you are eating well, remembering to stay hydrated (champagne doesn’t count) and taking time out for yourself (again, champagne doesn’t count 🙂 ) like taking a walk, meditating, trying some yoga, eyeing that dress that keeps getting remarketed to you from Revolve Clothing and every time you click it’s not in your size any longer…hmmm. No really, I mean it – good quality time for yourself is so important ESPECIALLY when you have IBS.

Learn more about the connection of IBS and your body with these beautiful infographics that myself and my designer Katie have created for you

Another great thing you can do for your body, mind and soul is cook more often at home.  Take the time to learn about new low-FODMAP spices and herbs you’ve never tasted or cooked with, new types of fruits and veggies, or maybe even cook your favorite meat in a different way.  There may seem to be many foods you can’t eat on this diet, but the way I see it, there are actually SO many ways to cook or bake!  I like this elimination diet so much not only because my clients are feeling better then they have in years but also, I see more people are beginning to cook healthier.

I love developing new recipes and taking pictures of them too.  Here’s a fact you may not know – I started my career as a photographer! (More on that later).  So I really love food blogs sprinkled with delicious dishes and gorgeous photos and I especially love reading blogs about wellness and digestive health.  If you are following the low-FODMAP diet, one beautiful blog to check out is Fructopia by Deniz in Germany.

Fructopia-about-Deniz-Ficicioglu-200x300
Deniz of Fructopia

Deniz’s story is like mine – we both have past lives working for agencies and we’ve both been pulled in different directions when it came to our diagnosis.  Deniz suffers occasionally from fructose malabsorption but she once suffered greatly.  She was finally diagnosed five years ago with fructose malabsorption and subsequently soon after learned how changing her diet could change her world.  You have to go and check out her website to learn more about fructose malabsorption, check out her beautiful photos and recipes and if you speak German, check out her book!  Deniz hopes her blog is “an inspiration for you to find your own way how to better handle fructose malabsorption.”

So more about the challenge and why I am talking about Deniz.

A couple weeks back after the lovely Julie at CalmBellyKitchen invited myself and the ever-awesome Anna from FODMAPJourney to do the first ever #21dayfodmapchallenge on Instagram, I started thinking of other recipe challenges to do with the ladies of the low-FODMAP blogging world.  I contacted Deniz and asked her to give me at least five ingredients she likes for me to then choose and I would create a recipe for her and have her do the same for me.  She said: Right now I’m nuts about all kind of winter produce. I love sweet potato, spinach, hard cheese like pecorino and all kinds of fresh herbs like mint, parsley or cilantro.”  From that list I used sweet potatoes, spinach, cilantro, parsley and chose to add chicken instead of pork which is not a favorite of Deniz.

I hope you like the dish!  I picture vegans and vegetarians liking it for Thanksgiving or meat-eaters enjoying it anytime.  Don’t forget to head over to her site today to see what’s she has made for me!

I had a great time making this dish for Deniz!  Now having a baby means I can not always do things at the times I’d like, so I would’ve loved to make this dish during the day and photographed it with my professional SLR, in soft natural light, but the iPhone 6+ photos will have to do!

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

low fodmap chicken sweet potato curry

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 can of coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegan substitute
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  1. Peel sweet potatoes and place in a saucepot. Fill pot with water so there will be just enough to cover sweet potatoes. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to boiling. Add sweet potatoes, cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until just tender on outside but not completely tender throughout whole potato. When cool enough to handle, cut into chunks and set aside.
  2. Thoroughly drain and rinse can of chickpeas. Set aside. (On the low-FODMAP diet you can have up to a 1/2 cup of chickpeas, as long as they have been drained and thoroughly rinsed to rid them of any FODMAPs.  Canning allows the FODMAPs to leech out into the water – magical).
  3. Place chicken thighs with oil on medium-high heat in a saucepan. Sear chicken on both sides. Insides should still be slightly pink. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.
  4. Return pan to stove and add in ginger. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Add in coconut cream, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili pepper, butter and remaining salt. Stir until well combined. Mixture should go from white to golden orange. Add in chickpeas, tomatoes and chicken. Make sure chicken is sitting in middle of pan.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer and occasionally scoop up sauce from sides and baste chicken. About 5 minutes in, add spinach and sweet potatoes to outer edges of pan and gently stir to combine. Once chicken is cooked through, serve immediately with curry sauce and garnish with cilantro and parsley.

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Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Vegan Frosting – low-FODMAP

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween today!  Here’s a sweet recipe that’s perfect for the Fall: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting – yum is the only word you need to know (wheat-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, nut-free)!  I used the batter to make mini cupcakes (my recipe will make 24 regular-sized cupcakes) and for a ghoulish look, the frosting wasn’t chilled beforehand which created the canvas for my scary melted ghost faces (using black decorating gel).   The Buttercream Frosting does not contain lactose and it also happens to be vegan.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Servings 24

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using a stand mixer, on medium speed, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Combine with butter-sugar mixture on low speed.
  4. Using a non-stick, un-greased cupcake or muffin pan, fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan and transfer to racks to cool. Let cool for at least 30 minutes, then frost with Buttercream Lactose-Free Frosting (recipe below!).

Buttercream Lactose-Free Frosting

This lactose-free, vegan frosting is so yummy and it’s also vegan! Use it on a variety of cupcakes, cakes, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin cookies.

Ingredients

Makes 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup lactose-free organic margarine (like Earth Balance Original)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain lactose-free yogurt

Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer with a large mixing bowl, cream margarine at a low speed and gradually add in confectioners’ sugar, until combined. Setting speed to high, add remaining ingredients, and beat until smooth and creamy. Be sure to chill first for 30 minutes – 1 hour before using.

*I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread and one item in the ingredients that could be questionable is the pea protein.  It’s not been analyzed yet for FODMAP content, however, it is located toward the end of the ingredients so it shouldn’t be present in high amounts (which is a good rule of thumb to follow when reading labels for the low-FODMAP diet).  Personally, I’ve not had any issues with Earth Balance.

Hope you enjoy!  Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant

Abundantly Happy Kale, Grains and Seeds Salad – New low-FODMAP Recipe!

Abundantly Happy Kale, Grains and Seeds Salad

I’ve been enjoying my time as a co-host for the #21dayfodmapchallenge, created by Julie of CalmBellyKitchen.com and also co-hosted by Anna of FODMAP Journey, who has guest blogged for FODMAPLife several times (check out this awesome post of Anna’s).

If you haven’t joined in yet there’s still time!  Learn more by visiting my Instagram profile here.

Yesterday’s theme for the#21dayfodmapchallenge was Great Grains so I decided to finish a recipe I’ve been working on, and I hope you enjoy it!

This salad is a low-FODMAP phytonutrient and vitamin powerhouse and it’s also colorful, crunchy and easy to make.  Vegetarians and vegans will love the mix of veggies, seeds, grains and nuts.  If you’re a meat-eater (and you just need to have your meat) you can always add a piece of grilled fish or lean meat to this salad, however I think it’s perfectly filling as is.  Make ahead of time and have for lunch the next day or bring to a gathering.

low fodmap grain salad
photo by: Colleen Francioli

Ingredients 

Serves 4

  • 9 leaves curly kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (purchase one without FODMAPs)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks, then into thirds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 2 radishes, sliced very thin
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup buckwheat, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Cut away ribs and stems from kale, wash thoroughly, drain in colander.  Chop kale leaves into long, thin shreds.  Add to a large-sized bowl and sprinkle salt and 2 tablespoons oil on top.  Massage leaves with hands until leaves begin to darken and soften.
  2. Add remaining oil to bowl, squeeze in lemon juice, discarding any pits. Add in turmeric, curry powder, ginger, celery, yellow bell pepper, carrot, pumpkin seeds, radishes, brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat.  Toss to combine.  Add more lemon juice or olive oil if desired.  Divide onto plates and top with slivered almonds.  Keep covered in refrigerator for up to three days.

*Tip – If brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat have been made ahead of time (a smart idea!) and are cold, I like to combine all into a skillet with 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil to warm up before adding to the other salad ingredients.  Preparing such low-FODMAP staples such as these ahead of time makes it much easier to follow the low-FODMAP diet. During your busy week, add them to salads, soups, stir-fry, sandwiches and more.

Hope you enjoy!  Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day/evening, where ever in the world you are!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant

 

Happy 4th of July! Take it Easy Today

photo credit: www.burpee.com
photo credit: www.burpee.com

*Updated July 2, 2016

July 4th is my favorite day of the year!  It always makes me think back to summers on Long Island, New York where I grew up.  There was always sparklers and fireworks (sometimes the oh-so-dangerous roman candles that you could buy in Chinatown in NYC) and great memories running around in my bathing suit, eating delicious food at my Uncle’s house.  I can almost smell the grill and hear the ice cream man’s music, the sound slowly making its way down the street.

If you’re American and celebrating America’s Birthday, July 4th weekend, please take it easy with food and don’t lose patience!  You might be going to a family or friend’s party, possibly out to eat, hanging out at a BBQ – and we all know that most of the time, these types of gatherings involve foods that can irritate and cause pain or discomfort – and no one wants to look like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon!  Also, it’s the amount of food that you need to be weary of too – most people with sensitive guts can’t handle too many different foods at one time.

Choose carefully and wisely and if possible, bring your own food!  If you can’t bring your own food, keep my grocery list handy on your smartphone.

Here are some tips!

  • Many sausages are made with onions and garlic – stick to chicken, turkey or fish which are also happen to be lean!
  • Hamburgers and hot dogs are OK.  Personally, I don’t like hot dogs for many reasons but if you like them, go ahead and enjoy!
  • Enjoy chicken, just not fried chicken
  • Seafood is always a great option!  Just take care to see if it was prepared with any high-FODMAPs and if you are dipping in butter don’t go overboard (see fat below)
  • Be careful of how much fat (butter, wheat-free fries, burgers and other red or processed meat, mayonnaise, oil in salads) you load up on as too much fat can disrupt your gut motility (preventing normal bowel movements).
  • If you can’t confirm whether or not a salad, a side or appetizer has not been made with high-FODMAPs, opt for a low-FODMAP green salad (avoid ready-made dressings unless you can read the label) and enjoy smaller portions of other salads like potato, macaroni (made with wheat-free pasta), or other traditional salads.  Remember, onion and garlic are in many dishes.
  • Bring your own gluten-free and low-FODMAP buns to the party or just have your burger on a plate.  Udi’s Classic Hamburger Buns appear to be low in FODMAPs.  You can also have 1 slice (low) of white wheat bread or 2 slices wheat wholemeal sourdough (if in the U.S.).  Learn more about sourdough bread here from Kate Scarlata, registered dietitian and low FODMAP diet educator.
  • For condiments, stick to mustard, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon relish, up to 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce, 1 sachet ketchup (made in the U.S. sweetened with fructose or sucrose), 1 sachet tomato sauce (what our loves in OZ and other countries call ketchup), and hot sauce (if your gut doesn’t have trouble with it).
  • Many store-made potato salads contain wheat flour (I figured this out while at a BBQ a few years back!).  Ask your host what’s in the potato salad or make one yourself and use this delicious recipe omitting the shallots.
  • Watermelon, popular at BBQs, is high in FODMAPs (I know, darn!)
  • Steer clear of carbonated drinks (which can cause gas), soda or sports drinks which are usually made with high fructose corn syrup and avoid most juices which contain high amounts of excess fructose
  • Opt for low-Fodmap fruits for dessert instead of cakes, cupcakes and other desserts
  • If you absolutely HAVE to drink alcohol, you can have beer, gin, vodka, whiskey, (no rum) and wine (red, white, sparkling, dry –no sticky/dessert wine).  If you want my personal advice, avoid alcohol if you are on the low-FODMAP diet, because in essence right now you are doing an experiment on yourself.  Alcohol is a gut irritant, plus we often consume too much food during the holidays, so it would just be another thing to throw you off.  If decide to drink, consider sticking to clear alcohol like vodka with lemon or gin and please only have one drink ladies, and two max for men.  Drink responsibly and get a designated driver, Uber or Lyft – don’t chance it!
  • Remember, eat your food slowly to give your gut a chance to properly digest food. Stay hydrated!

Have a great time and don’t stress yourself out – but just make the best choices possible.  Whether you are in the elimination phase for the low-FODMAP diet or you already know which HIGH FODMAPs cause you problems – celebrations or parties are hard for anyone with a digestive disorder.  And eating several different types of foods during one occasion, OR fatty foods, OR alcohol, OR foods that are high in FODMAPs OR foods that have added condiments and sauces – eeeekkk!  I know, it’s hard for us!  Be good to your body this weekend 🙂

Best, Colleen

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What Does FODMAP Stand For?

September 25, 2013

FODMAPs is an acronym used to describe short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine by some people with sensitive guts, namely those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

When certain food components (carbs and sugars like FODMAPs) are not absorbed in the small intestine, they make their way into the large intestine where the gut bacteria act upon them and have a feast. This interaction results in fermentation of the sugars within the carbs which triggers the release of gas.  The types of symptoms that occur are bloating, distention and a change in the speed of intestinal contractions (gut motility), leading to constipation (slow contractions) or diarrhea (fast contractions) or sometimes a combination of both.

FODMAPs include:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides – are short chains of carbohydrate molecules linked together including Fructans, a chain of fructose molecules and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) a chain of galactose molecules. Some Examples:
    • Fructans: Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Garlic and garlic powder, Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Spring Onion (white part), Shallots, Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Barley (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.
    • Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas.
  • Disaccharides – are two carbohydrate molecules linked together including Lactose (composed of glucose and galactose), the sugar found in milk and dairy products.  Some Examples:
    • Milk, ice cream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yogurt, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, marscarpone).
  • Monosaccharides – are single carbohydrate molecules including Fructose, the sugar found in many fruits and some vegetables.  It does not require any digestion before it is absorbed. When foods containing equal amounts of fructose and glucose are consumed, glucose helps fructose to be completely absorbed.  However, when fructose is present in greater quantities than glucose, fructose absorption depends upon the activity of sugar transporters located in the intestinal wall. The ability to absorb excess fructose varies from person to person. In people with fructose malabsorption,the capacity of sugar transporters is limited and excess fructose travels to the colon where fermentation occurs.  Some Examples:
    • Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), asparagus, artichokes and sugar snap peas.
  • And
  • Polyols – are a type of carbohydrate that humans can only partially digest and absorb in the small intestine.  Some Examples:
    • Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, as well as Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Maltitol (all end in ‘ol) and Isomalt, used in sugar-free products like candy, flavored jam and jelly spreads, baked goods and baking mixes, chewing gum and cough drops as well as diet products.  Sugar alcohols mimic the sweetness of sucrose (table sugar), however, because their absorption is much slower, only a small amount of what is eaten is actually absorbed.

The Low-FODMAP diet and the restriction of certain carbs helps reduce the fermentation process and IBS symptoms in about 75% of patients.

garlic

I have had many problems throughout the years, first starting with digestion and the last few years I have had bloating so bad, I look pregnant and the pain from the distention is hard to live with.  I have to wear certain types of clothes just so I can be comfortable (dresses, leggings).  I have had to say no to social gatherings because I am so uncomfortable and have low energy.  Sometimes just working out is no fun because I feel like a huge balloon – from head to toe I feel utterly gross!

Since learning about the low-FODMAP diet, it has totally made sense why I have such horrible pain some days and not others.  The pain and bloating I experience can last for weeks on end or almost cause embarrassing situations.

dairy freeThere are foods that I love and I eat a lot of them (like garlic) but they are on the high-FODMAP list.  Just cutting them out so far has made a difference.

If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Celiac Disease I hope you will check out this blog every so often and share your own story too!

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Sources: Dr. Sue Shepherd, and the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation

Low-FODMAP and the Disney Cruise Line

Until this past month, I had never been on a cruise and was never really interested.  I tend to like to create my own adventures, on my own time, often with a bit of spontaneity.  This all changed when my cousin asked if I would go on a cruise to celebrate my Uncle turning 70 years old.  I couldn’t pass up such a special occasion and even better, she told me we would be celebrating Disney-style.

It wasn’t until a few years back when this same lovely cousin went on a Disney Cruise Line vacation that I learned Disney actually was a part of the cruise business, and wow are they ever!  After sailing with Disney I think it would be hard to sail with any other cruise line.  I heard Princess Cruises were pretty legit so I could see myself sailing with them at some point, but I was totally wowed by Disney and here’s why:

  • Various opportunities throughout the day to see Mickey, Minnie and other characters walking around the boat.  Kids (and starry eyed adults) can have their picture taken or get in a little hug or two
  • If you can’t make it to an allotted time for a meal there’s always food to enjoy somewhere on board
  • The Disney Fantasy ship I was on was gorgeous with wood trim, beautifully equipped staterooms, and very clean.  It’s the length of four football fields and over 200 feet high!

 

This past month I had the opportunity to take a cruise through the Caribbean

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