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!




RD Tamara Duker Answers Questions about the Low Fodmap Diet

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tamara Duker, a Registered Dietitian (RD) with a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition.  She knows a thing or two when it comes to food and nutrition, cooking and eating, recipes and healthy living. She is a cake lover challenged with gluten intolerance (like so many other ladies!).  Her practice is based in New York City and she has expertise in helping people with:

  • Soft diets for dysphagia
  • Gluten-free diets
  • Low-FODMAP diets for IBS and SIBO
  • Lactose-free or low-fructose diet for digestive intolerances
  • Medically-supervised elimination diets for Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Here is Part One of our interview – please read and then check back next week for Part Two:

tamara dukerCF – What would you say is the average age of people coming to see you for the first time?  Are they a mix of male and female or mostly female?  Do you find that they’ve come to see you because someone else has recommended they see an RD, or do you find you’re receiving more e-patients?

TD – While I see patients of all ages– from 11 at youngest to 80-somethings at the higher end, my “typical” patient is a woman in her 20s-40s.  Commonly she reports having had a “sensitive stomach” or “stomachaches” since childhood that has recently gotten worse, but in other cases I hear she was totally fine until one time she got sick when traveling, and then her bowels have never been the same since.  They come to see me out of desperation– either they find me via google (my name comes up a lot when you google “bloating” or FODMAP-related search terms, as I write extensively on these topics for US News), or their gastroenterologist referred them to me.

CF -What are the lactose-based products they are most unhappiest to part with?

TD – My lactose intolerant patients are unhappiest to part with pizza, ice cream and yogurt.  Often, they part with the yogurt and then suffer through the pizza and ice cream.  The problem with pizza/ice cream is that often its the high fat content that triggers IBS symptoms rather than the lactose per se–so even if they take a lactase supplement, they still may not tolerate these foods well.  They are beyond ecstatic to learn that there is a lactose-free, low fat  real dairy yogurt available, as soy yogurt tastes awful, coconut milk yogurt is a FODMAP bomb and almond milk yogurt is a sugary, carb bomb.  Healthy snacking is much more convenient when yogurt is an option.

CF – Can you please describe Medical Nutrition Therapy?

TD – Medical nutrition therapy is different from nutrition counseling or education in that diet is a prescription to treat or improve a medical condition.  Some examples of this would be: gluten-free diet for celiac disease, using soluble fiber therapy to improve IBS-D, using the low FODMAP diet to manage symptoms of chronic bloating in IBS, etc.  Medical nutrition therapy, importantly, is evidence-based and employed by credentialed clinicians, often in close collaboration with a medical doctor.

CF – Can you provide other tips for the lactose intolerant crowd/FODMAP fans?

TD –

  • Watch out for protein powders, drinks or bars that use whey protein concentrate or milk protein concentrate.  These can be very high in lactose.
  • If you use lactase supplements to help digest conventional dairy, use chewables, not tablets.  Chewables are much more effective.Take with the first bite.  Take additional dose mid-way through the meal/snack if there’s a lot of lactose.
  • Green Valley Lactose Free yogurts are the most FODMAP-friendly yogurts I have ever encountered.  If Green Valley Organics yogurt is not available in your market, look for Redwood Hill Farm goat’s milk yogurt instead– its about 40% lower in lactose than conventional yogurt, which is comparable to your typical Greek yogurt.  To reduce its lactose content even further, you can strain it for 2 hours in a paper-towel lined seive/strainer over a pot, which yields a thicker greek-style texture (lactose is water soluble, so it leaches out with the excess liquid).  I have a recipe for “Goat’s Milk Labne” here which I absolutely love.

If you have any comments, please share them below!  Thanks!  Check back next week for Part Two.

~ Colleen

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Low FODMAP Juice for Hypothyroidism

I just had this 4 oz. organic juice of lemon, orange, carrot and ginger and it’s so good. You see, I suffer from digestive issues and I have trouble with energy because of my hypothyroidism.  Some raw and organic fruits and veggies really help as they give me natural energy (not processed foods) and because they are organic, they have fewer chemicals and pesticides which can have a negative effect on the thyroid gland.

I had a visit to the the doctor today and we are trying to get an accurate analysis of my thyroid. I’ve been dealing with hypothyroidism for the last couple years and it was not discovered until my Mother suggested I get a few blood tests done (she also has Hypothyroidism).  This is now the second doctor, but she is a specialist so I believe this go around will be better than the general doctor I first saw.

My hypothyroidism affects my energy levels, my sleep, mood, makes me dizzy, and I get cold easily. It can make my skin itchy, my fingernails brittle, and lately it’s been getting worse with palpitations and tremors. So much fun! I sometimes look like a zombie when working out but I give it my best. Ahhh I miss the days when I could workout forever!

So what’s the connection between Hypothyroidism and IBS?

“Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid does not produce a sufficient amount of hormones necessary for the cells throughout the body to work properly.” (re: ).  Hypothyroidism affects the digestive system and can trigger bloating and constipation.  You can also get diarrhea which is a result of someone who has SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome.  On a recent visit to a gastroenterologist, he was certain I had SIBO – but we are still testing.  Today my doctor asked if the first doctor I saw (the general doc) said whether or not I had Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition which is one of the most common causes for Hypothyroidism.  I said I asked and the doc said no – but was I accurately tested? After testing now (see below for some of the blood tests I am taking tomorrow) we will figure out what is going on, but it’s important to note that people with Hashimoto’s disease are at a greater risk for Celiac disease – hence why the low-FODMAP diet is a great consideration for people with Hypothyroidism.

Taking thyroid medication has sometimes helped with my IBS but I still get many of the IBS symptoms here and there. It’s a long process learning and narrowing down all the possibilities for my symptoms.  Before thyroid medication I would have IBS so severe that distention would last for weeks to months on end. Having a stomach comparable to a woman six months pregnant sends various signals to the brain like: “What the hell? I’m working out but I feel like I’m not losing weight.” “I have to go out? What am I going to wear to cover up my belly?” “I think I should come up with a name for ‘it’!” “Nope, not going to eat that, or that, or umm that.” “I’m not buying new clothes for a while!”


I have learned that when you are a patient, you cannot rely completely on what the doctors say, and not all doctors are organized (best way to explain why a doctor does not reference past charts or follow-up on last visit diagnosis/remarks) so you have to sometimes remind them what you need.  I am not suggesting self-diagnosing by way of “Googling”, I simply mean that it’s important to do your research and understand all the tests that exist for your individual health condition and which doctor or specialist is the right choice. Research is great in the form of books instead of the Internet.  Search for highly-touted books on Amazon like this one.

If you have IBS symptoms, very low energy and symptoms typical to either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (see below) it won’t hurt you to go see an Endocrinologist and have some tests ordered.

Other Takeaways:

  • Ask around to see if anyone in your family has thyroid issues. Remember, it usually runs in the family!
  • Have your thyroid levels monitored in a timely manner, as suggested by your doctor (they may monitor you at first on a monthly basis and then every quarter after with the hopes that your condition improves and you only need to be seen once a year)
  • Take your medication on time, everyday, and wait at least 45 mins before eating
  • Eat clean foods that will give you natural energy and not slow you down
  • If you are getting a lot of fiber from vegetables, learn about goitrogenic foods and how they can act like antithyroid drugs – here’s a great article from a lady I follow on Twitter, Mary Shomon @ThyroidMary
  • When you go and see an Endocrinologist or hormonal specialist, ask about getting the following tested: TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronine (free T3 or total T3), Thyroid antibodies, Vitamin B12 and Iron

Symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism

I have more to share about the thyroid gland and will post about it in the future – there is much to share like what foods to eat or avoid, how much carbohydrates you should have (to prevent blood sugar swings), how to alkalize your body and other tips to keep your thyroid healthy and your IBS under control.

Here’s to you!

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Bloated Yoga! And Yoga for IBS

Tonight I took a hot yoga class. Though I like to relax and be in the flow during yoga, it’s hard to connect when I’m so BLOATED from IBS. I have no idea why I got it so bad today. My husband remarked that I have a bigger belly than our pregnant friend!

My plans were to go running tomorrow morning but if I’m still the same way, running will be very painful. Everything across my abdomen is tight feeling, yet stretched out. I feel like my entire mid-section is a balloon but I’m surely not floating!

I found a great article with yoga poses for IBS (with pictures). Take a look:

There are a couple videos out there if you just Google “yoga for IBS.” I found this one and liked it. It’s pretty simple – take a look and tell me how you do! yoga for IBS

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