Q and A Sunday October 11, 2015

It’s Sunday!  What does that mean?  Brunch with friends, relaxing with a book, sitting down with family for dinner, taking a walk with your dog or petting your cat, getting in some much needed yoga, being grateful for all the good in your life.  That sounds like a perfect Sunday to me 🙂  Sunday also means that it’s Q & A Sunday, a great time to learn from other great #FODMAPer questions.

When ever you see the image below on my social media channels, just ask your question below the image and check my blog the following week to see if I’ve answered your question.  Take this opportunity to read other fans’ questions as you will learn much about the low-FODMAP diet!

Here are today’s questions:

low fodmap q and a

Crystal Tan- Question:  “Is coffee suitable in a low fodmap diet?”  

Answer: The answer to your question is yes but please consider learning more about coffee and how disruptive it can be to your gut.  You can read a post of mine covering this topic!  “Why I Don’t Drink Coffee.”  I do want to note that not everyone responds to coffee the same way.  Some may find that just limiting the amount of coffee they consume or switching to decaf helps, or by limiting HIGH FODMAPs like regular milk or cream along with their coffee improves symptoms.  Here is a list of coffee suitable for the low-FODMAP diet:

  • Espresso, decaf with low-FODMAP milk alternatives
  • Espresso, decaf, black
  • Espresso, regular, black
  • Espresso, regular with low-FODMAP milk alternatives
  • Instant, decaf with low-FODMAP milk alternatives
  • Instant, decaf, black
  • Instant, regular with low-FODMAP milk alternatives
  • Instant, regular, black

Angie Benson Harmon- Question: “Garlic and onions. How toxic are they to someone with IBS?”

Answer:  I would not say that garlic and onions are not toxic for people with IBS, but they certainly do cause unwanted symptoms and many health experts agree they may be the biggest contributor to gut symptoms in the Western diet since they’re found in so many foods.  For me, garlic and onions are the worst FODMAP culprit (followed by excess fructose).  These fructans are a type of oligosaccharide, the “O” in FODMAPs.  This carbohydrate as well as GOS are poorly digested by every human being because we lack the enzymes that help to break down and absorb the components of them into our bloodstream.  With garlic and onions I would say the thing you have to be cautious about is being proactive about knowing what’s in your food should you choose to eat out and understand the symptoms you might endure.

And more HELP for you #FODMAPers…

If you are diligent and become your own patient advocate, this diet may very well work for you.  Some quick tips:

  • Keep a notebook to take notes and write down questions
  • Bring my grocery list with you to the supermarket and out to restaurants
  • Use my food and symptom diary to keep track of all the foods and drinks you consume, as well as any symptoms. Whether you are working on the diet solo or with someone trained in the low-FODMAP diet, this diary will help you to better (and more swiftly) understand your triggers.
  • Download the Low-FODMAP Diet app from Monash University and please take the time to learn about using the traffic light system.

That’s it for this Sunday.  Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter!  Follow/like/comment on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day, and I look forward to your questions!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
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Q and A Sunday October 4th – Low-FODMAP Diet

I remember when I first started the low-FODMAP diet and how confusing it was.  There was so much conflicting information online and in books about different foods, whether they were LOW or HIGH in FODMAPs, and the same went for servings.  So many others shared their frustration online about food, the diet, their symptoms, the social consequences, the doctors that told them IBS was “all in your head”, the medications or the wrong supplements they were taking.  Amid all the chaos I also found many of those same people later rejoicing about how well the diet worked for them, once they understood all the “ins and outs.”

On a daily basis I receive dozens of questions, and they are really good questions!  I really enjoy answering as many questions as I can and thought sharing them would be so helpful to you. Welcome to Q & A Sunday, with this post being the second installment (read last week’s post if you didn’t, you’ll find some great questions).

When ever you see the image below on my social media channels, just ask your question below the image and check my blog every Sunday to see if I’ve answered your question.  Take this opportunity to read other fans’ questions as you will learn much about the low-FODMAP diet!

So without further ado, here are two REALLY GOOD questions to which I’ve got great answers:

low fodmap q and a

Question –  Alexandra Ware: “Why does the Monash university app say that u can have soy sauce, one slice of white and wholemeal bread, biscuits etc when these things contain wheat?”

Answer:  The overall goal of during the Elimination Phase of the low-FODMAP diet is to reduce the load of HIGH FODMAPs consumed at each meal or across the day.  Then during the Challenge Phase, as advised by a FODMAP trained nutritionist or dietician, small amounts of FODMAP-containing foods are re-introduced through a series of “challenges.”  You can have the items you mentioned on the low-FODMAP diet but in specific servings. Having them in their specified servings ensures that you do not consume high amounts of FODMAPs.  Also do not get wheat confused with gluten.  This is a diet that negates high amounts of wheat, but it’s not a gluten-free diet, and the only people who need to absolutely stay away from wheat and gluten are people with celiac disease or other people who’ve been instructed by their doctors due to an auto-immune disease.

If you haven’t downloaded the Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet app, I highly suggest doing so.  It’s great to have handy while you’re eating at a restaurant, shopping for foods or cooking at home.  With respect to wholemeal bread, take a look at this screenshot from the Monash app:

monash low fodmap

If you had pulled up wholemeal bread under the “Breads” list you would have just seen the red traffic light.  Don’t let the red traffic lights deter you.  Not all foods listed with red traffic lights are completely off-limits.  In this case, wholemeal bread is LOW in FODMAPs (Oligos-fructans and GOS) as long as you stick to one slice.

Amanda Leighton LaPointe- Question: “What do you do when stress, not food, sets off an attack?”  

Answer: This is a great question.  I’ve personally endured a few life events that have set me back emotionally, physically and mentally.  From a bike accident, to no longer competing in endurance sports, to IBS, two back surgeries and a family member who caused me great anxiety, I had my share of pain.  But then I had great pain and loss.  It was the hardest time in my life and it felt like someone threw a brick at my chest – that was when I lost my Mother in July of 2014.  She was my calm, my rock.  Not too long after she passed, I found out I was expecting our baby boy – a beautiful gift from my Mother I am sure.

The point of me sharing my own personal story is that life is hard and it’s like a roller coaster for everyone.  And if you have a digestive disorder it’s extra important to take care of your body, especially in times of great stress, pain or loss.  Your body needs you then the most as stress and anxiety can trigger symptoms.  Learn more about the Brain-Gut connection by downloading an infographic here.  Consider these tips for when stress sets off an attack:

*When you have to ‘go’, don’t delay! Get to “the john” ASAP.
*Avoid straining during a bowel movement; relax, take your time and try breathing long slow breaths like you would at yoga class.  Some call this “poop breathing.”

*Practice meditation.  Pick a time everyday that will work for you and give yourself 10-20 minutes of quiet time to breathe and think about all the things you are grateful for – and picture yourself healing your gut and IBS.  Picture yourself happy and comfortable.
*Make sure to do at least some physical activity (a short walk, workout at the gym, clean the house, park farther away from the store/work). Just moving can help relieve anxiety and help your bowels to function healthfully.
*Try peppermint or ginger tea and take a look at these foods to help relieve gas: 
http://goo.gl/kqEfUH

And more…

If you are diligent and become your own patient advocate, this diet may very well work for you.  Some quick tips:

  • Keep a notebook to take notes and write down questions
  • Bring my grocery list with you to the supermarket and out to restaurants
  • Use my food and symptom diary to keep track of all the foods and drinks you consume, as well as any symptoms. Whether you are working on the diet solo or with someone trained in the low-FODMAP diet, this diary will help you to better (and more swiftly) understand your triggers.
  • Download the Low-FODMAP Diet app from Monash University and please take the time to learn about using the traffic light system.

That’s it for this Sunday.  Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter!  Follow/like/comment on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day, and I look forward to your questions!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant

My Top Posts for the Low-FODMAP Diet, Great for Newbies!

The low-FODMAP diet can be tricky, especially if you do not have the means to work with a Certified Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian familiar with the diet.  If you are working on your own, I have listed some of my most popular posts here to help answer your questions.

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Designed by http://www.designkf.com

 

As always if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to connect with me!  Send me a private message on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fodmaplife

First – you’ll need our Low-FODMAP Grocery List on this page: http://fodmaplife.com/fodmap-grocery-list/ and if you want a printable version, sign up to our email newsletter in the month of March: http://ow.ly/KfnXu 

Now read up on these!

What are other ways you can become oh-so brilliant when following this diet?  

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder

colleen frnacioli