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

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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
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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

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

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!!

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 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 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