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!




Feeling Frustrated? Learn the Differences of Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free for the Low-FODMAP Diet

fodmap diet gluten free wheat freePeople with celiac disease avoid far more foods than people on the low-FODMAP diet.  Celiacs have to stay away from the gluten protein which is found in a wide variety of foods and ingredients.  Celiacs need to avoid gluten because the protein can cause serious intestinal damage and could mean a trip to the hospital- exposure to gluten results in inflammation of the small intestine when any gluten is ingested. Cross-contamination is also a big deal and it’s harder for celiacs to eat out but thankfully gluten-free products made at 100% gluten-free facilities are more widely available.

*Also note that I have IBS as well as the auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s disease.  People like me have been told to also avoid gluten as many people that have Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism also have gluten-sensitivity.  The book Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter says that whole grains “can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression” and by avoiding these wheat-based carbs and grains (that have gluten) he says more people might be able to avoid these problems that affect the brain, also including, but not limited to Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.  Do your research to learn more about grains and how they may affect your digestive and brain health.  

FODMAP – Fructans

Wheat has been said to be the largest source of fructans in food here in the U.S.  I believe it as I can name so many of these foods in a heartbeat!  The middle aisles of your grocery stores are filled with wheat products as well as highly processed foods and soy…I am very passionate about those topics and could go on forever but let’s stick to today’s topic.

On the low-FODMAP diet, wheat, barley and rye (which have gluten) contain the carbohydrate FODMAP fructans, so you are essentially negating a specific kind of carbohydrate in the wheat – you are not negating the gluten protein like celiacs need to. Not all gluten-free products are low-FODMAP either.  High FODMAP ingredients that you will see in gluten-free foods are:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • pear juice – or other high FODMAP juices often found in jellies and jams
  • honey
  • chicory, root chicory, chicory root fiber contain inulin (a carbohydrate fiber) – found in chocolate bars, breakfast bars, yogurt, ice cream, salad dressings and margarine
  • dried fruits and more.

Young Woman With OatsAn example of a food that contains gluten but is low in FODMAPs is spelt bread – it is suitable on the diet in low servings.  Oats are often times cross contaminated with gluten. They can be in a celiac’s diet if they are selected from sources that guarantee a lack of contamination by wheat, rye or barley.

Where is Gluten Found?

For celiacs, gluten can be found in ingredients like barley malt, malt vinegar, wheat starch, wheat thickeners and more. Gluten is found in some salad dressings, soy sauce, mustard (like wheat flour), mayonnaise, candy (like wheat flour), yogurt, spice mixes and seasonings. So these food items are dangerous for celiacs but they are not high in fructans and are suitable to include in a low-FODMAP diet.

If you have any questions please comment below!

Stay Connected! 

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder

Which Foods Contain Gluten?

no wheatIf you have Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Hashimoto’s Disease or Type 1 Diabetes and cannot have any gluten and are following the low-FODMAP diet, this post is for you.

Says expert, Expert Patsy Catsos, MS, RD: “Gluten-free diets are very popular right now for a wide variety of conditions. When you eliminate gluten, you also eliminate wheat products that contain fructans, one of the FODMAPS carbohydrates.”

For everyone else not needing to watch gluten intake – fructans and other FODMAPs, but NOT gluten are restricted on the Low FODMAP diet. You should aim to buy gluten-free grains (wheat-free). Researchers at Stanford University Medical Center say you “do not need to follow a 100% gluten-free diet as the focus is on FODMAPs, not gluten.” You can buy gluten-free grains made with low-FODMAPs: potato, quinoa, rice or corn and avoid gluten-free grains made with high FODMAPs.  Also, gluten-free products are wheat-free and suitable for fructose malabsorption. Please still pay attention to possible fructose ingredients such as onion, honey, inulin and fruit.

So, back to the crowd of Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Hashimoto’s Disease (me) and Type 1 Diabetes: Read this list to make sure you know which foods contain gluten.

As a refresher – what is gluten?  It is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. People with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and some with Hashimoto’s Disease or Type 1  Diabetes should speak with their doctor about avoiding all foods that are made with these grains.

Here is where you will find GLUTEN:

All wheat-based flours and ingredients

  • Wheat Bran
  • Wheat Germ
  • White Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Durum Wheat
  • Graham Flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale

Bread groupCommon foods with gluten and alternatives:

  • Bread – instead try: gluten-free breads.  Check out this article from the Huffington Post: The Best Gluten-Free Breads: Our Taste Test Results
  • Cereals – instead try: gluten-free cereals, cornflakes, wheat-free muesli, porridge
  • Cookies, cakes – instead try: gluten-free cakes and mixes and flour-less cakes
  • Condiments, gravies, sauces – instead: make your own
  • Couscous – instead try: buckwheat, polenta, millet, sorghum
  • Flour Tortillas – instead try: corn tortillas
  • Muffins, pastries – there are some gluten-free versions but make sure you know all of the ingredients!
  • Pasta – instead try: gluten-free pasta, rice or pasta made from quinoa or rice

MORE Sources of GLUTEN:

  • Beer – opt for wine or clear alcohols instead.  Yes there are gluten-free beers, but beer should be avoided in general for anyone with digestive or inflammatory conditions.
  • Broth in soups and bouillon cubes
  • Candy – some more brands have been popping up lately, offering gluten-free candy.  Read the labels as always!
  • Fried foods – I stay away from fried foods anyhow.  Fried foods can cause IBS symptoms and are also full of saturated fat, and buildup from saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats can cause hard deposits (plaque) to form in your arteries.  Many fried foods are made with Canola Oil, a GMO product. “In it’s hybridized and modified state (Canola Oil) it can cause a large number of health issues.”
  • Imitation fish
  • Licorice – choose brands that do not contain wheat flour!
  • Matzo has gluten, but there is hope for gluten-free brands like this one or this one.
  • Meat – many lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages contain wheat gluten.  As always when buying meat, buy organic!  I happen to like the Applegate Farms brand.
  • Modified Food Starch – ANYTHING modified should always be an automatic RED FLAG for you.
  • Oats – buy gluten-free oats as most commercially grown oats can become contaminated during growing, harvesting or processing.
  • Potato Chips (flavored) – some processed flavorings for potato chips contain wheat, barley or rye.  Stay on track with a clean diet and avoid potato chips.
  • Pickles – be wary of any pickles with malt vinegar or corn-based vinegar.
  • Salad Dressing – for those following the Low Fodmap Diet, it’s best to make your own dressing with olive oil, low fodmap herbs and vinegar.  If you find a dressing on the shelves that is not high in FODMAPs, make sure the dressing does not contain a thickening agent like modified food starch.
  • Soy sauce – many contain wheat.  If you’re going out for some sushi, keep a bottle of gluten-free soy sauce in your purse/bag!
  • Veggie Burgers – I love veggie burgers but many contain wheat gluten.  I checked out this recipe, it looks good but she does not list gluten-free oats or gluten-free soy sauce, so make the necessary changes: veggie burger recipe

Here’s to your health FODMAPers!

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