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


Del Mar Fairgrounds-Wyland Center
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014-2216

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!


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

Beef Tacos: Low-FODMAP Recipe

Tasty Tacos - low-FODMAP style
Low-FODMAP tasty tacos!

Many Mexican dishes are automatically off the menu for FODMAPers; flour tortillas, enchiladas, burritos – but tacos, now they were made for us!! Yes, we can enjoy a good taco and that’s exactly what the following recipe is all about – taco time, in no time:

Ingredients (serves 2):
6 corn taco shells
250g mince beef
Spices – 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, pinch of chilli powder
1 bay leaf
2 handfuls of spinach
To top:
Cottage cheese 

Okay – let’s begin. In under 30 mins you’ll be sat crunching your way through some de-licious tacos.

1. Brown the mince. Once browned, add the spices and bay leaf, allowing the flavours to absorb into the mince. When cooked, have a quick taste to check that it’s to your spice-factor liking, adapting if necessary.
2. Line your taco shells with some spinach, add your beef taco mix, and finally, top with cottage cheese.
3. Crunch crunch crunch!

If you made the above for one person, rather than two, you might have some leftovers. Another great meal using the remaining mince is to bulk it out with wilted spinach – again, topped with cottage cheese when serving. THUMBS UP!

Happy crunching! xo

Bunless Burgers: Low-FODMAP Recipe

Mmm mm homemade burgers – simple to make, delicious, extremely versatile, and the best bit? You know exactly what’s gone into them. I have to admit I was shocked by the ingredients in shop bought versions – flour, additives, more additives…GAH! Why?! No thanks, none of that – just the good stuff. I used ingredients that I already had in – the result…paprika burgers topped with feta, tomato and chives – all the best recipes are random ones after all! 😉

FullSizeRender (2)Ingredients (makes 4 good sized burgers):
500g beef mince (or alternative mince)
Smoked paprika (or alternative seasoning)
1 tomato, sliced
Crumbled feta cheese
Drizzle of olive oil

1. Break up the mince meat and add any desired extras – in my case, paprika. Mix together well, and then divide into four equal portions. Create ‘burger’ shapes.
2. Pop the burgers on a baking tray in a foil parcel – drizzle with olive oil, and add any extras – in my case, sliced tomato. Into the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked.
3. Pop the grill on, and add the burgers with the feta and chives – place under the grill for a couple of minutes until the feta has browned slightly.
4. Serve up with of sides choice – a side salad with some polenta chips, or potato salad, maybe? 🙂

Here’s some alternative low-FODMAP ingredients you could add…
Seasonings: Herbs (basil, mint, etc.), cumin, chilli.
Toppings: Sliced aubergine, pepper, mozzarella, camembert, cottage cheese, halloumi, olives.
Sauces: Mustard, mayonnaise.

Or you could always just have it as a conventional burger with a gluten-free bun – the options are endless!

How do you like yours? xo

Aubergine With Mozzarella And Tomato: Low-FODMAP Recipe

Aubergine With Mozzerella And Tomato
Aubergine With Mozzerella And Tomato

…Or ‘Aubergine Melts’ as BBC Good Food calls them… and melt in the mouth they do! Five ingredients (well, six actually – I added one more), with an approximate cooking time of 30 minutes…the perfect post-work dinner, especially in the summer months.

All you need (serves 1):
1 aubergine
A drizzle of olive oil
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices of mozzarella
Fresh basil
A drizzle of lemon juice

I adapted the recipe for one, and my method slightly varies from the original – see what suits!

Topped with crispy bacon
Topped with crispy bacon

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
2. Meanwhile, halve the aubergine lengthways and score with a knife so that you can drizzle the lemon juice and oil into the gaps.
3. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes, or as long as possible so that the aubergine has softened nicely.
4. Finally, add the sliced tomato, mozzarella, and basil and pop back in the oven – finish off under the grill for that extra touch.
5. Serve with sides of choice.

If you’d like to include meat in the dish, adding grilled bacon works a treat.

I love aubergine cooked this way – so simple, so healthy…

and so delicious! xo

Feta, Strawberry, And Spinach Toast: Low-FODMAP Recipe

A short but SWEET recipe using…

STRAWBERRIES! A real ‘treat’ food in my eyes as they can be on the expensive side and don’t tend to last long (well, definitely not when I’m around!) I picked up a lovely fresh punnet of strawberries the other day from my local greengrocers and, well, they were delicious! Other than enjoying them as they come (which, let’s face it, there’s nothing better), I found a new way of enjoying them as part of a light summer lunch or snack…

FullSizeRender - Copy (5)All you need:
2 slices of gluten-free bread
A handful of spinach
Feta cheese, crumbled
4-6 strawberries (depending on size), sliced
Lemon juice (optional)
Black pepper (optional)

1. Toast the bread.
2. Layer the toast with spinach and feta, followed by the sliced strawberries – drizzle with lemon juice.
3. Pop under the grill for a couple of minutes, until the feta and strawberries have softened slightly.
4. Season with black pepper and enjoy.

I really enjoyed the combination of the sweet juicy strawberries with the mild taste of the feta – oh, and it’s easypeasylemonsqueezy to make and on your plate in a matter of minutes! See what you think 🙂

Strawberry love. xo

Banana Bread: The Sequel. Low-FODMAP Banana-Carrot Bread

By Anna Lewin, FODMAP Journey

I promise I don’t make banana bread ALL the time! But the Banana-Sultana Bread I made was pretty delicious (if I do say so myself!) so there was only one thing to do – make it again! But this time…Banana-Carrot Bread. Warning: More-ish…

Low-FODMAP Banana-Carrot Bread - makes you go 'mmm'
Low-FODMAP Banana-Carrot Bread – makes you go ‘mmm’

This is my adapted version of a recipe from one of the booklets I received from the dietitian when I first started on the diet, courtesy of King’s College London. Their recipes ‘keep it simple’ – now that sounds familiar… very much my approach! 🙂

Time to cool off...
Time to cool off…

250g gluten-free self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
125g grated carrot
4 bananas
2 eggs
1 tbsp golden syrup
100ml vegetable oil
Scattering of pumpkin seeds

Sliced and ready to eat/freeze!
Sliced and ready to eat/freeze!

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Mash the bananas, then mix with the golden syrup.
2. Add to this the eggs (already whisked) and the oil. Mix everything together.
3. Add the flour and baking powder, mixing well. Finally, add the carrots and mixed spice.
4. Then pop the mixture into a lined/greased loaf tin, scattering the pumpkin seeds on top. Into the oven it goes…
5. 40 minutes later (or until cooked), take out the oven. Then allow the bread to cool – taking out of the tin after a couple of minutes of cooling.
6. When cool enough to slice (or for as long as you can wait), enjoy a taste while it’s still warm (nothing beats it!).
7. Store in an airtight tin or freeze, to enjoy again and again – I sliced before freezing for an easier life, as with the Nana-Sultana Bread!

You can see the orange tint that the bread has – and it’s all natural! The banana/carrot/mixed spice combo is a good’un. A minimal-prep, maximum flavour recipe – oh and your kitchen will smell divine!

Enjoy! xo

TRAVELING on the Low FODMAP diet: Tips to keep the belly happy (and a simple recipe)

Hi friends!! I am beyond STOKED to contribute to this blog 🙂 and I want to thank Colleen for welcoming me! I hope to be able to inspire others on this FODMAP journey, maybe making life a little easier!!!

Since MEMORIAL DAY is around the corner, which means Summer weekend getaways (woooohoooo)I thought what a better time than now to talk about traveling tips on the low FODMAP diet.  Lets face it, traveling can be super stressful when you are on a restrictive diet (and cause anxiety which is a BIGGGGG NO NO for us tummy issue folk). Here are few tips that work for me and keep me sane on my travels, since I refuse to let my dietary restrictions control MY LIFE ( I shall control them 😉 :


  • PEPPERMINT TEA BAGS: Perfect for taming an upset traveling tummy.
  • RICE CAKES: Lundberg brown rice are my fave.
  • JUSTINS ALMOND BUTTER PACKETS OR A JAR OF PEANUTBUTTER : I prefer PB since almond butter has a limit, 1 tbsp= about 12 almonds which is OVER the low FODMAP limit of 10 almonds. Nut butters are great to spread on your ricecakes with Banana coins for breakfast, snacks or whatev. Bananas are easy to find anywhere. Perfect airplane or train snack!
The perfect tummy friendly snack
The perfect tummy friendly snack
  • CINNAMON: for your bananas/ricecakes
  • OATMEAL: I bring gluten free Bobs Red Mill quick cooking oats in ziplock bags. Add boiling water in a paper cup, add chia seeds, bananas,peanutbutter, cinnamon: fiberfulBFAST!

    photo 3-2
  • CHIA SEEDS: Fiber when traveling!
  • ZIPLOCK BAGS/PLASTIC KNIVES/MEASURING CUPS: I pack these because you can easily carry your snacks around, use the knives to cut bananas, and measuring cups for your oats/chia seeds/nut butters.
  • PRE SOAKED NUTS : raw almonds,hazelnuts, walnuts (all limit 10), pumpkin seeds(2 tbsp), when soaked are easier for digestion.
  • DIY TRAILMIXES:  Throw in gluten free pretzels, nuts, any low fodmap cereal, ‘enjoy life’ choco chips.. etc, get creative here and know your limits..
  • HOMEMADE COOKIES: this is one of my FAV traveling items because they can keep well for a week in a mini fridge and it can work as a breakfast/snack/dessert when everyone else is indulging in ice-cream or whatever those non FODMAP people eat ;), take out a yummy cookie!

RECIPE: EASY Oatmeal Banana cookie

The easiest oatmeal cookie
The easiest oatmeal cookie
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Optional add-ins: 10 or so chopped almonds,hazelnuts or pecans ,1/4c unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds, 1/4 c enjoy life chocolate chips..

Instructions: Mix ingredients together. Flatten about a tablespoon fof the mix on baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil. Bake at 350 c for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms are golden.  Makes about 10-15 cookies.




P.S.: AWESOME TIP FOR DINING OUT: I always tell my server that I have ALLERGIES rather than intolerances. I always find this makes them take it more serious!