NEW FODMAP Life T-Shirt On Sale -Proceeds to Benefit Research

We are so excited to launch our first product for FODMAP Life!

FODMAP Life T-Shirt "I'm Not Pregnant..."

FODMAP Life T-Shirt “I’m Not Pregnant…”

A portion of the proceeds will benefit research on new foods for the low-FODMAP diet!  What does that mean for you and me?  That more foods will be analyzed for their FODMAP content, which is excellent considering the low-FODMAP foods list can feel limiting at times!


Our first t-shirt was designed by Katie Foerster.  She’s not only an amazing artist but she’s also my dear friend from college.  On top of designing our first shirt, she has designed our beautiful logo, all of our social media channel art, as well as a few other surprises (coming soon).

katie foersterKatie has worked with the Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels, the Boston Bruins, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and many others.  Katie is a Rhode Island School of Design certificate student in Graphic Design, a professional in Project Management, a successful Set & Product Stylist and efficient Photo Producer.  Katie understands all that is creative and has proven her talents in her work. She currently resides on Cape Cod, Massachusetts where she grew up.  Check out her work here:

Stay Connected! 

  • Check out my Books/Resources tab for the books I personally use.
  • Join our Facebook community to meet over 35,000 people across the world
  • Check out Instagram where I post photos almost daily, mostly of food, products and recipes!
  • Watch our YouTube Channel for inspiring videos and our famous recipe for Pão de Queijo (a.k.a. Cheese Bread)
  • Tweet with us on Twitter!

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder

Feeling Gassy? Foods and Other Causes of Gas

FODMAP Life Gas-Causing Foods

FODMAP Life Gas-Causing Foods

There are many foods that can cause gas but there are also many ways in which a person can get gassy.  Through my own trial and error and sometimes learning the hard way, I’ve become numb to certain foods that cause even the slightest gas (or wind as they say over in Europe and elsewhere).  I have also included foods below that can cause bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.

Whether you are following the low-FODMAP diet or not, learn this list to for the sake of yourself and those that are near :)

  • Beer
  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage (savoy), onions, leeks, garlic, artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower,  mushrooms, shallots
  • Carbonated drinks and drinks made with artificial sweeteners or fructose
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruits, such as apples, applesauce, apricots, blackberries, cherries, lychee, nectarines, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, tamarillo, watermelon
  • Lettuce
  • Legumes – Most beans and peas as well as pistachios and cashews
  • Milk and milk products – the problem is the lactose content
  • Sugar alcohols found in sugar-free foods (sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol, anything ending with -ol)
  • Whole-grain foods or wheat-based foods/products

FODMAP LIFE foods that cause gas

Things You Might Do to Produce More Gas

  • Not exercise, or even go for a walk
  • Chew gum
  • Use a straw to drink
  • Have or create distractions while eating (which makes you eat more or maybe faster) watching TV, checking your phone, or doing both at once; working on a project, etc.
  • Getting too much fiber in your diet by way of supplements or foods
  • Stressful lifestyle

Other Causes of Gas

  • Food intolerances
  • Auto-immune conditions
  • Celiac Disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) which can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Diverticulitis or an inflammatory bowel disease (BD) like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine from diabetes
  • Menstruation
  • Panic disorder, anxiety, depression

Whatever the reason is for gas or other digestive symptoms in your life, don’t forget to get in some meditation everyday or stress-relieving activities.  Having a digestive disorder, food allergy or auto-immune condition can cause physical discomfort, but one of the first things you can do is relieve mental discomfort and treat your mind kindly.  Then be more aware of the foods you eat, and how you eat them.  If you’ve sought out health advice and feel you’re getting nowhere, keep researching to find a system and a health professional that works for you.  Treat your whole self – mind, body and soul.

  • Join our Facebook community to meet over 35,000 people across the world
  • Check out Instagram where I post photos almost daily, mostly of food, products and recipes!
  • Watch our YouTube Channel for inspiring videos and our famous recipe for Pão de Queijo (a.k.a. Cheese Bread)
  • Tweet with us on Twitter!

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder


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.


As always if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to connect with me!  Send me a private message on Facebook:

First – you’ll need our Low-FODMAP Grocery List on this page: and if you want a printable version, sign up to our email newsletter in the month of March: 

Now read up on these!

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

  • Check out my Books/Resources tab for the books I personally use.
  • Join our Facebook community to meet over 35,000 people across the world
  • Check out Instagram where I post photos almost daily, mostly of food, products and recipes!
  • Watch our YouTube Channel for inspiring videos and our famous recipe for Pão de Queijo (a.k.a. Cheese Bread)
  • Tweet with us on Twitter!

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder

colleen frnacioli

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Fermented Foods and Fermentation in the Gut -Low-FODMAP

Dear fans with IBS and FGIDs – yes you can consider adding fermented foods to your diet!  For those following the low-FODMAP diet the word “fermented” might cause some confusion but here’s what you need to know:Red Sauerkraut

Fermentable FODMAPs vs. Fermented Foods

“Fermentable” in the low-FODMAP diet for people with IBS and FGIDs refers to foods that contain sugars like Oligo-saccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols which are short-chain carbohydrates that are incompletely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and can be easily “fermented” by gut bacteria, causing gas, bloating, distention, diarrhea and constipation.  This family of sugars increase fluid movement into the large bowel. You can find a list of foods that are high in FODMAPs here.  FODMAPs are foods that you drastically reduce during Phase 1/Elimination Phase of the low-FODMAP diet so you can then Reintroduce in Phase 2 (one FODMAP group at a time, a few foods from each group).

Fermented Foods nourish the good bacteria in the gut and some experts say they boost the immune system.  For someone that has IBS or other FGIDs, this is a good thing as 70-80% of your immune cells reside in the gut!  Popping up in supermarkets and farmers markets everywhere are many delicious fermented foods that have been fermented, packaged and refrigerated.  You’ll find RAW sauerkraut and kimchi (both contain cabbage) as well as sauerruben and cortido.

kraut-blueThe Process?

This is how Farmhouse Culture makes their sauerkraut - and it’s exactly what you should look for – raw, organic vegetables fermented with sea salt:

“Finely shredded cabbage and chunky vegetables are layered with salt and packed into barrels. Over the first couple of days, the salt draws out excess liquid from the vegetables, making them tender and pliable. As the vegetables subside into this natural brine, nature takes over and the process of lacto-fermentation begins. Over the next week, a sharp, earthy scent envelops the room–a little like fresh apple cider, with a dash of vinegar and a hint of pickle.

“After a few weeks those bulky, crunchy vegetables have relaxed into tangy shreds of long-lasting, delicious sauerkraut.

“Lactic acid fermentation, also known as “culturing”, is a time-honored tradition that has been used for centuries to preserve and extend the harvest. Modern cultures have largely abandoned this food craft in favor of canning and refrigeration.”

Tell Me More!

Though sauerkraut and kimchi both contain cabbage which is a FODMAP(polyol-sorbitol) and an insoluble fiber, the fermentation process actually breaks down the sugars so it’s easier to digest.

Kimchi Making Festival, Seoul, Korea

Kimchi Making Festival, Seoul, Korea. Copyright: robert cicchetti

If you’re big into Korean food then chances are you’ve already had kimchi.  And if you love Irish and German foods, you’ve had sauerkraut –  but if it was at a store and found sitting on a shelf, it’s been pasteurized and won’t have the same beneficial effect as raw sauerkraut.  Make sure you go find the refrigerated brands!

Tips on Buying & Eating Fermented Foods

  1. Look for this on the label: “raw”, “live food”, “unpasteurized” or “contains live cultures”
  2. Look for simple ingredients like  “water, vegetables, salt”
  3. For kombucha, look for “water, sugar, tea, culture.”  Be mindful of additional sweeteners which could be high FODMAPs but also it means the Kombucha was sweetened after the fermentation process.
  4. Start out slow – try a 1/4 cup of fermented foods or a 1/4 cup of Kombucha per day
  5. Pair your fermented foods with other foods to help aid in digestion
  6. As an extra precaution, you can check the labels to make sure onions, garlic or other high FODMAPs have not been added.  It’s just an extra precaution and according to Dr. Barbara Bolen, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Expert: “if you are following a low FODMAPs diet, you may find that you can tolerate some fermented foods, as the fermenting process gets rid of the problematic FODMAP elements.”  Keep in mind too much garlic will make the kimchi bitter but it may not bother you -everyone is different.

Other types of fermented foods which may be beneficial to your gut include:

  • Fermented carrots – carrots are shredded or cut and then packed into an airtight container with some salt water.
  • Lactose-free Kefir or yogurt is made when a culture is added.  Look for live cultures.
  • Low-FODMAP cheese -milk is weighed, heat treated or pasteurized then starter cultures, or good bacteria, are added.  Then begins the process of separating the liquid (whey) from the milk solids (curds).  Read more.
  • Vinegar – made by two distinct biological processes, both the result of the action of harmless microorganisms (yeast and “Acetobacter”) that turn sugars (carbohydrates) into acetic acid (source below).
  • Kombucha – made when a culture is added to a sweetened tea.  This sugary tea is then fermented with the help of a scoby. “SCOBY” is actually an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.”  Read more.
  • Tempeh – made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty.


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How to Make: Pão de Queijo – Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free, Low in Lactose

How to Make: Pão de Queijo – BonCalme & FODMAP Life
This recipe is low-FODMAP, gluten-free and low in lactose because we use lactose-free milk and Parmesan cheese.

Chef Marcos, my dear friend joins me in this film. He was born in São Paulo and is of Lebanese and Italian decent. Being influenced by those two cultures in one of the most awesome countries in the world, he makes the most delicious foods! In this video he shows you how to make my low-FODMAP and healthier version of Pão de Queijo.

So what is Pão de Queijo? A.k.a. “cheese balls” to Americans they are cheese-flavored breads which are a very popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil. You can also find similar versions in Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay. We made them with tapioca flour but they can also be made with cassava flour if you can find it. We also used unrefined organic coconut oil instead of a highly-processed vegetable oil. Also, lactose-free milk instead of regular milk makes this recipe low-FODMAP as well as Parmesan cheese which is low in lactose. You can also experiment with different cheeses.

My husband is Brazilian and every time I go to Brazil I just NEED to have some of these! You can find them easily in airports and bus stations, usually sold by the franchise Casa do Pão de Queijo, but the best are usually made in local bakeries or at truck stops and you’ll also see them in supermarkets. The best Pão de Queijo I ever had was at a truck stop between the city of Londrina and Curitiba.

Learn to speak Portuguese:
Thank you! = Obrigada (f) Obrigado (m)
Have a nice day! = Tenha um bom dia!
I love Pão de Queijo = Eu amo Pão de Queijo :)

Want to learn how to say Pão de Queijo? This is the best way I can show you! Powm-gee-kay-joo or Click this link:

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Wheat, Barley, Rye, Onions and Garlic – Why They Cause IBS

Wheat, Barley, Rye, Onions and Garlic – Why They Cause IBS

Instead of resulting to pharma drugs, this elimination diet uses “food as medicine” to help people discover which foods may be triggering symptoms.  A group of sugars called FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and research suggests they contribute to IBS and FGID symptoms.  Learn more and read on!

Wheat FreeWheat, barley and rye as well as onions and garlic contain fructans which are part of the FODMAPs family.  Fructans are malabsorbed in the small intestine which means they aren’t digested properly and then ferment in the small intestine causing bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea.  Of all the FODMAPs, fructans are the greatest contributor to IBS as humans were not made to have the enzymes to break down fructans and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides).

“What are FODMAPs?”

The low-FODMAP diet has been instrumental in helping relieve common symptoms of IBS and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.  FODMAPs stand for Fermentable, Oligo-saccarides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides, lactose, excess fructose and polyols are found in natural and processed foods.

When FODMAPs are malabsorbed they can cause more water to be delivered through the bowel which can contribute to diarrhea in some people.  Sugars from FODMAPs make their way to the large intestine and are then fermented by bacteria, producing gases.  Gas can be produced in the small or large intestine, and which we all know so well, then comes symptoms of bloating, distention, abdominal pain and even back pain.  For some, this gas production can slow movement through the bowel and mean constipation.  Sometimes it can take days or weeks for these symptoms to ease up.  It wasn’t until I found the low-FODMAP diet that I began to notice a difference in how my body began to digest the right foods.  Keep in mind, everyone’s body chemistry, environment and stress level is different, so following the low-FODMAP diet is very individualized.

HONEY FODMAP LIFE“Which Foods Should I Avoid?”

Along with wheat, barley, rye, garlic and onions, honey, lactose, sugar alcohols, certain veggies, fruits and certain legumes are avoided.  The low-FODMAP diet is not a gluten-free diet, however you will see us mention gluten-free foods as most are wheat-free.  Not all gluten-free foods are free of FODMAPs so you’ll need to read all the labels of products (example: Udi’s White Sandwich Bread is low-FODMAP but Rudi’s Original sandwich bread has high FODMAPs like inulin and honey).

Take a look at this page to learn more about the foods to avoid and this page to see our grocery list of all the foods you can safely enjoy on the diet.  And finally visit this page to learn How to Start the Low-FODMAP Diet.

If you have already taken hydrogen breath tests and know you can either completely absorb fructose or lactose, you do not have to completely negate either from the diet, but can as an extra precaution during the first and second phase.

There’s a lot to learn, so you’ll want to follow us on social media as we share new content, tips, advice and recipes often.  Plus you’ll meet people who feel your pain and know what it’s like to have painful, uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms.  We are here for you!  Comment below with any questions.

facebook iconinstagram30x30 youtubetwitter-icon-30x30

Welcome to FODMAP Life! ~ Colleen


Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free Blueberry Muffins

fodmap life gluten free lactose free muffinsI adapted this recipe from the Food Network and was very happy with the results!  To make these Blueberry Muffins I swapped out agave nectar for maple syrup and canola oil for coconut oil.  This is a low-FODMAP recipe and also lactose-free as rice milk is used.

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (I used the Bob’s Red Mill brand)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unrefined organic coconut oil
2/3 cup Grade A organic maple syrup
2/3 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
1 cup fresh organic blueberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. You can line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or I use Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch® Nonstick Muffin pan without liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. Add the oil, maple syrup, rice milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth. Using a plastic spatula, gently fold in the blueberries just until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into each prepared cup, almost filling the cup. Bake the muffins on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 15 minutes. The muffin will bounce slightly when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

Let the muffins stand for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

You can see the original recipe here.

Have a healthy day!  ~ Colleen

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Low-FODMAP, Wheat-Free Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Low-FODMAP Greek Pasta Salad Recipe
Low-FODMAP Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Low-FODMAP, Wheat-Free Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

If you’re looking for something delicious to spice up lunch or need something to bring to a party, this recipe is your answer.  It’s easy to make, flavorful, low-FODMAP, gluten-free and wheat-free.

1 (12 to 16 ounce) Gluten-free, wheat-free rice spiral pasta
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach, rinsed, drained, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound (8 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled (Bulgarian or French, if you can find them!)
1 medium tomato sliced in quarters
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained

1/4 cup garlic-infused oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to the package directions; drain and rinse.
2. Make the dressing – whisk all dressing ingredients together in a large bowl
3. Use the same large bowl and add in remaining ingredients
4. Add pasta and toss gently until evenly coated.

Serve, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Have a healthy day!  ~ Colleen

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Valentine’s Day Low-FODMAP Chocolate Coconut Balls

Happy Valentine’s Day!  In celebration of Valentine’s Day I wanted to share my gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free recipe with you for Low-FODMAP Chocolate Coconut Balls.  They are very easy to make and won’t take much of your time.  They are great to enjoy with your sweetie or for kids!

 © C. Francioli

© C. Francioli FODMAP Life


  • 2 cups light shredded coconut
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (30 secs – 45 secs in microwave)
  • 1/3 cup egg whites (2 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • tablespoons rice flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon organic Grade A maple syrup
  • 30 grams melted semi-sweet chocolate bar (1 oz. bar).


  1. Mix the coconut shreds, coconut oil and rice flour on high speed in a mixer.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
  3. In a small pan, melt the bar of chocolate on medium heat.  I recommend breaking the bar up into pieces before you begin.  The chocolate will melt quickly.  Stir consistently until completely melted then add immediately to the coconut and flour mixture and mix until the chocolate is spread throughout evenly.
  4. Next add the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and salt to the coconut/flour mixture on high speed for 30-45 seconds.
  5. Add in the maple syrup
  6. Shape the mixture into 15 (1-inch) balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 30 minutes to an hour.

Option: Add a fine drizzle of melted dark chocolate to the top of the coconut balls or lightly sprinkle with cinnamon or confectioner’s sugar.

Have a sweet day!  ~ Colleen

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What’s the Best Diet for IBS?

Me in 2013

That’s me a few years ago!

I’ve been there…not wanting to leave the house, horrified at the thought of being in public, not wanting to even think about which clothes would fit for the night.  For a while I bought long shirts and sweaters or dresses without waistlines, anything to take the pressure off and hide my bloated belly.

It was in 2010, when my IBS symptoms were sudden and came out of the blue.  I went from competing in triathlons and road races to feeling so uncomfortable, that even walking was painful.  I became less and less active and my IBS didn’t really improve until I found the low-FODMAP diet in 2013.  Once I tried out this elimination diet, and then began to reintroduce foods, everything started to get easier and make more sense.

Food sensitivities/allergies and bacterial overgrowth, inflammation, lack of digestive enzymes, parasites –  these and many others can all lead to IBS.  Since there are so many factors that can contribute to IBS and various others factors that can make symptoms worse (diet, stress, pollution, environment) no one can truly pin one definitive cause or solution for IBS.  However, the good news, is that the low-FODMAP diet has worked for many people so far and it’s also a safer way to treat symptoms versus getting prescriptions for drugs.  Drugs come with side affects and they don’t all necessarily “cure” us.  Using “food as medicine” is something I feel very strongly about.

Young Woman Looking Out From Cutting Board And Looking On VegetaSo What’s the Best Diet for IBS?  The low-FODMAP diet doesn’t work for everyone but it does provide “good relief of symptoms in about 75% of patients” according to research in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology by Peter R Gibson and Susan J Shepherd titled Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach.  

Of all the recommendations I have seen about the best foods for IBS, the low-FODMAP diet seems to be the most calculated and scientifically-backed approach.  Many people visit my Facebook page and have discussions with each other are surprised as to why some can handle certain FODMAPs and others cannot.  I always tell our reactions or non-reactions are due to our distinct digestive systems, our environments and individual life situations.  Everyone is different!

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t handle one food or a group of specific foods – there are plenty of very healthy options out there, and life will be better once you know your gut!  Do your research, get several opinions and be aware of what you’re eating, how you’re eating and living.  Meditate on a daily basis, drink more water, follow the grocery list and think positively about all the good foods (and less sugar) you’re putting into your body!

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Happy Valentines on the Low-FODMAP Diet

Fretting about whether or not you can enjoy Valentine’s Day with your sweetie this year?  Don’t fret, just be prepared ahead of time and check out the list below for servings sizes and types of chocolates, cookies, hot and cold chocolate drinks, wine and other alcohol you can enjoy!  I have also included a few sparkling wine suggestions from my dear friend Bridget Cheslock.  She’s a Certified Sommelier, WSET Diploma student, French Wine Scholar, and lover of Champagne and gourmet foods.

Before we begin, please keep these tips to keep in mind:

  1. Remember chocolate is high in fat which is another reason to not go cray cray and jump head first into a box!  High fat content in foods tend to affect gut motility.
  2. Alcohol can irritate your gut, so it’s advised to limit intake and do always try to have some food with your drinks!
  3. Carob powder is a no-no because it is HIGH in oligos (fructans), and much higher than cocoa powder.
  4. Include low-FODMAP fruits like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries along with your chocolate so you can healthfully fulfill your sweet tooth!

Young couple kissing behind pralines heart on valentines dayChocolate Bars and Cookies

For chocolate bars Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LD, medical nutritionist, FODMAP expert and author recommends reading the label for lowest % cacao, the lowest number of grams of fiber, and not a milk chocolate, as that would add lactose.  She suggests these brands in one of her past posts:

  • Newman’s Own Organics Orange Dark Chocolate (1 g fiber/ounce)
  • Dagoba Organic Chocolate Semisweet for Baking (2 g fiber/ounce)
  • Ghirardelli Mini Chocolate Chips (2 g fiber/ounce)
  • Nestle’s Toll House semi-sweet morsels
  • Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chips

Dark chocolate – up to 5 squares or 30 grams is low in FODMAPs and most people with IBS should be able to tolerate this amount.  Up to 90 grams or more are HIGH in FODMAPs and also contain moderate amounts of lactose, so intake should be limited.

Milk Chocolate – 1 fun-size bar is LOW but 5 squares or 30 grams or more has MODERATE amounts of lactose.  Intake should be limited if you malabsorb lactose.

White Chocolate – Same as above – 1 fun-size bar is LOW but 5 squares or 30 grams or more has MODERATE amounts of lactose.  Intake should be limited if you malabsorb lactose.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Biscuits – 1 cookie is LOW in FODMAPs.  Just make sure you buy a wheat-free version.  2 or more cookies contains HIGH amounts of the Oligos-fructans so intake should be avoided.

Cookies/Biscuits Cream-filled and Chocolate coated – 1 cookie is LOW in FODMAPs.  Again buy a wheat-free version.  2 cookies contains MODERATE amounts of the Oligos-fructans so intake should be limited.  3 cookies or more contains HIGH amounts of the Oligos-fructans and intake should be avoided.

Hot/Cold Chocolate Drinks

Drinking Chocolate 23% cocoa powder – 1 – 2 heaped teaspoons is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  Larger servings of 100 grams or more contain HIGH amounts of lactose and Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.

Drinking Chocolate 60% cocoa powder – 1 – 2 heaped teaspoons is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  Larger servings of 100 grams or more contain MODERATE amounts of lactose and HIGH amounts of Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.

Drinking Chocolate 70% cocoa powder - 1 – 2 heaped teaspoons is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  Larger servings of 100 grams or more contain MODERATE amounts of lactose and Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.

Malted, Chocolate Flavored Beverage – 1/2 teaspoon or 10 grams is LOW and should be tolerated by most people with IBS.  3 heaping teaspoons contains moderate amounts of lactose.  Intake should be limited if you malabsorb lactose.  Large servings (or 50 grams, 2 heaped teaspoons) contain HIGH amounts of lactose and Oligos-fructans.  Intake should be avoided.


FODMAP Life Valentine's Day


Wine – 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.

My friend Bridget Cheslock, Certified Sommelier suggests the following delightful sparkling wines for our friends in the U.S., U.K. and Australia:

Check out Bridget’s blog Glamorous Gourmet!

Wine – Sticky or Dessert – 1/2 glass (75 ml) to 1 glass (150 ml) is HIGH in FODMAPs.  Both of these servings contain HIGH amounts of excess fructose.  Intake should be avoided if you malabsorb fructose. Some examples of dessert wines are fortified wines such as port, marsala, muscat and tokay as well as non-fortified wines such as rice wine, sauternes and botrytis affected dessert wines like Monbazillac, Cadillac, sainte-Croix-du-Mont, Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume and Vouvray.  Other non-fortified wines include Beerenauslese, Eiswein, Trockenbeerenauslese, Champagne Sec, Demi-Sec and Doux, Moscato d’Asti and Vin Santo.

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.

Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream – Both 1 and 2 scoops contains MODERATE amounts of lactose. Intake should be avoided if you malabsorb fructose.

Sources: Monash University, Musings on the Vine.

Gluten-Free, low-FODMAP Breads in Australia

DEEK'S Quinoa Loaf

DEEK’S Quinoa Loaf

Here in the U.S. it seems as though we have plenty more to choose from when it comes to foods that are wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free – free of many things!  So when I heard some of our FODMAP Life fans in Australia say they were having trouble finding some decent brands of wheat free, gluten free breads, I started asking around.  Here is what I found – click on the links for more information about where to buy and find these breads.

If you are an Aussie reading this, I’d love your comments below for any additional brands that you like.  Thanks!

Naturis Organic Rice Loaf - Ingredients: Whole brown rice, rice flour, rice leaven, cold pressed sunflower oil, sea salt and purified water added.  Free of: Gluten, wheat, yeast sugar and dairy.

Healthybake Organic Gluten Free Bread – Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Flour, Filtered Water, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Olive Oil, Vegetable Gum (E464), Organic Soy Flour, Yeast, Sea Salt.

Deek’s Quinoa Loaf – water, tapioca, quinoa (21%), soy flour, sunflower oil, vinegar, yeast, sugar (to activate the yeast), salt , guar gum.  Free of: Gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, nuts, artificial flavors.  Fructose friendly :)

Zehnder Wholemeal BreadI had to reach out to them to get the ingredients as I couldn’t find it on their website.  Ingredients: Water, Modified Tapioca Starch, Rice Bran, Whole Rice Flour, Maize Starch, Tapioca Starch, Whole Soy Flour, Canola Oil, Glucona Delta Lactone, Bicarbonate Soda, Linseed Meal, Sugar, Dry Yeast, Salt, Cellulose (464), Xanthan Gum (415), Guar Gum (412).  Free of gluten, dairy, yeast, soy, corn and eggs.  May Be Present: Sesame

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12 Facts and Tips for the Low Fodmap Diet

If you are new to the low-FODMAP diet or you just need a refresher, take a look at these 12 Facts and Tips for the Low Fodmap Diet to help you along in your journey!

1 Tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter on a rice cake makes a great snack!

1 Tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter on a rice cake makes a great snack!

1) The acronym FODMAPs stands for:

Fermentable, Oligosaccharides (Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), Disaccharides (Lactose), Monosaccharides (excess Fructose) and Polyols (Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)

2) The low-FODMAP diet is not meant to be a forever thing – it’s meant to be an investigative tool:

  • 1st phase – follow this elimination period by strictly negating all FODMAPs for up to two months.
  • 2nd phase or re-introduction/challenge phase – detect personal triggers by reintroducing one FODMAP category at a time, one food at a time.

After the 2nd phase, FODMAPs that do not trigger symptoms can be a part of a regular diet, and some may still be limited but far better tolerated.  It is important for all to enjoy a varied diet in order to reap the benefits of various nutrients and minerals.

3) The low-FODMAP diet has been proven to help ease IBS symptoms by way of food as

Low-FODMAP fruits: kiwi, strawberries and ripe bananas

Low-FODMAP fruits: kiwi, strawberries and ripe bananas

medicine.  If a patient decides to take medications, they run the risk of side effects and might only cure some symptoms.  The low-FODMAP diet does not work for everyone, however, taking the natural route with food first may be the healthiest option for most IBS sufferers.

4) Fructans are seen as the most common FODMAP to cause symptoms of IBS and they are found in several different types of foods, both natural and processed.

5) The low-FODMAP diet is not a gluten-free diet but it does list gluten-free foods, as most are wheat-free.  And, just because something is free of gluten and wheat, does not mean it is free of FODMAPs!  Wheat is only a problem when consumed as a wheat-based carbohydrate food (like breads, cereals, pastas, crackers, cakes, cookies, pastries etc.).

6) Fructose malabsorption is defined as the incomplete absorption of fructose in the small intestine, followed by the delivery of fructose to the distal small bowel and colon, where it contributes to rapid fermentation and resultant abdominal bloating.  A hydrogen breath test can detect fructose malabsorption.

7) Firm, less-ripe fruit tends to contain more fructose.  In order to not overload the GI tract with

Rice noodles are a tasty alternative to wheat noodles

Rice noodles are a tasty alternative to wheat noodles

sugar, it is suggested to have one serving of fruit per meal.  Some fruits like avocados and cherries are OK on the low-FODMAP diet but also come with limitations.

8)  Properly reading food labels will help to ensure success with the low-FODMAP diet.  Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight with the highest amounts listed first.  FODMAPs can be an issue only when consumed regularly and in significant amounts.  If a high FODMAP food is listed on an ingredient list but present in small amounts (such as less than 5%) then there probably shouldn’t be an issue and would be “suitable” to consume.

9) If you love garlic or onions eating out can be hard but at home, you don’t have to suffer without the taste.  You can sauté onions or garlic for about two minutes -be sure to remove either or before you eat your dish.  Garlic-infused oil is a very easy way to add some garlic flavor and Asafoetida powder can be used as a replacement for onions or garlic.  Use it sparingly as it is very strong in smell and taste.

10) Adding too much fiber can aggravate IBS symptoms and sometimes a person may need to increase or decrease fiber intake for the best symptom management.  The low-FODMAP diet does exclude many high-fiber foods, however the following are low-FODMAP and can be a great daily natural boost of fiber: oat bran, rice bran, oatmeal, quinoa, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, 1/4 cup canned lentils or chickpeas (rinsed), baked potatoes, quinoa flakes or brown rice cereals (check labels).  Consider not having too much fiber at any one time and slowly increase as you aim to improve your digestive health.  A fiber intake of 25-30g per day is recommended for people with IBS.

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Choose lean meats when ever possible and stick to about 3 oz. servings (about the size of a deck of cards)

11) It is strongly advised to keep a food and drink journal while on the low-FODMAP diet.  This will help you to better understand your food triggers and work through the re-introduction phase with a Certified Nutritional Consultant or Registered Dietitian.

12) Fats and oils are generally low in FODMAPs, however, fatty foods can actually slow down and inhibit digestion and gut motility.  Choose leaner proteins like fish, chicken or turkey, stay away from heavy sauces, and limit oils or fats like butter and olive oil to one tablespoon.

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Evidence-based Dietary Management of Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms: The FODMAP Approach Peter R Gibson, Susan J Shepherd/ J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010;25(2):252-258; The FODMAPs Approach — Minimize Consumption of Fermentable Carbs to Manage Functional Gut Disorder Symptoms  By Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN, Today’s Dietitian, Vol. 12 No. 8 P. 30




Low-FODMAP Chicken Parmesan Recipe!

snow 2015  fodmap life

Friends in Waltham, MA

As I scroll through Facebook and look at pictures posted by my friends and family on the East coast, I can’t help but remember what it was like to grow up with snow.  The good –  making snowmen and sledding down the nearby golf course.  The bad – remembering how hard it was for our parents to get out of the steep driveway and instead rocking back and forth on ice.  The ugly – being in my senior year of high school, already late and de-icing the locks on my old ugly car – I’m so embarrassed – it was a half brown, half peach colored Ford Zephyr!  I thought that car was so ugly so I made it uglier with stickers all over the rusty bumper.

If I were to be inside now, cold and bored, I’d want a rendition of my Mother’s Chicken Parmesan.   It’s definitely one of my most favorite meals she ever made.  I can still enjoy it now and have it low-FODMAP, wheat-free and gluten-free (it’s naturally soy-free and nut-free of course!).

IMG_2563 I hope you enjoy this recipe and I wish a safe next couple of days for all friends and family braving the cold!  With love from California, Colleen.


Chicken Parmesan – Recipe based on 4 servings

  • 2 pounds of chicken (preferably organic, and with all the fat trimmed off)
  • 2 cups of fresh organic baby spinach
  • Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marina Sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Ian’s Gluten-Free Original Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 TBS Organic oregano
  • 1-2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS butter

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.


  1. Slice the mozzarella into thin circular pieces.IMG_2860
  2. Place two shallow bowls to the left of a  plate which should be nearest to the stove
  3. In your first bowl, lightly beat two eggs
  4. Place cup of bread crumbs in the other shallow bowl and mix in salt, pepper and oregano
  5. Put a wide skillet on the stove with a pat of butter or 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Don’t turn on the stove until you’re done with step 6.
  6. Take each piece of chicken and dip it into the egg mixture, allowing any excess egg to drip off, then dip the chicken in the breadcrumbs and make sure every piece of the chicken is coated
  7. Turn on the skillet to medium-high heat and place all of the chicken in the pan.  Fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, only turning once.
  8. As the chicken is cooking, lightly grease a glass casserole dish and ladle some tomato sauce to the bottom.
  9. Once the chicken is ready, place it in the casserole dish.  Lightly ladle the chicken with sauce and then place mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken breasts and sprinkle on parmesan cheese.
  10. Sprinkle spinach on top, ladle with more sauce and the rest of the cheese.
  11. Measure one tablespoon of olive oil and spread across the top of everything.
  12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Just look to see when the sauce and cheese is bubbly!

Serve with gluten-free rice pasta shells.  After I boil the rice pasta I like to put it into a pan on low heat for a couple minutes and toss it with butter, 3-4 fresh, chopped Roma tomatoes and cracked black pepper.  Delizioso!

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Low-FODMAP Servings for Legumes

Most legumes are HIGH in FODMAPs, but there are still some you can enjoy as long as you stick to recommended serving sizes.  In order to protect our immune system and reap the benefits of much needed nutrients, antioxidants and minerals, it’s important to include legumes in your diet along with vegetables and fruits.  Certain nutrients, antioxidants and minerals can help lessen the damage done to our bodies by chemical pollutants, radiation hazards, free-radical damage, bacteria, viruses, the use of alcohol or nicotine, pharmaceutical drugs and even stress.  I could list the benefits of legumes, veggies and fruits all day, but for now, let’s get you educated on legumes specifically for the Low-FODMAP diet.

low fodmap diet legumesThe following serving sizes are recommended by Monash University. Below, if you see a HIGH rating it means that you are to avoid that food.  Otherwise “safe” servings have been listed next to the legume foods below.  Additional tips are listed.

If there’s a legume you are looking for (examples: fava beans, mung beans or adzuki beans) and you do not see it in the list below it’s because they have not been analyzed by Monash University.  So whenever that’s the case, it’s best to just avoid the food entirely.


  • Baked Beans – HIGH
  • Borlotti beans, canned – HIGH
  • Broad beans – HIGH
  • Butter beans, canned – HIGH
  • Haricot beans, boiled -HIGH
  • Lima beans, boiled – HIGH
  • Four bean mixed, canned – HIGH
  • Red kidney beans, boiled – HIGH
  • Soya beans, boiled – HIGH
  • Bean sprouts -1/2 cup to 1/4 cup – LOW
  • Green beans – 6 to 12 beans – LOW.  17 beans contains high amounts of the polyol sorbitol.  Intake should be limited if you malabsorb sorbitol.
  • Lentils, canned – 1/2 & 1/4 cup – LOW.  Canned legumes/pulses have lower FODMAP content because the water soluble Oligos-GOS and fructrans leach out of the bean.
  • Lentils, green, boiled – 1/4 cup – LOW, 1/2 cup has MODERATE amounts of Oligos-GOD and fructans, intake should be limited.
  • Lentils, red, boiled – 1/4 cup – LOW, 1/2 cup has MODERATE amounts of Oligos-GOD and fructans, intake should be limited.
  • Lentil burger – HIGH


  • Chickpeas, canned – 1/4 cup LOW, 1/2 cup has moderate amounts of Oligos-GOS intake should be limited. Larger servings (100 g) contain HIGH amounts of GOS, this intake should be avoided.
  • Snow peas – 5 pods – LOW, 10 pods has HIGH amounts of Oligos (fructans and GOS) and high amounts of the Polyol mannitol; intake should be avoided.
  • Sugar snap peas -HIGH
  • Thawed peas – 1/4 cup – LOW, 1/2 cup contains HIGH amounts of Oligos-GOS, intake should be avoided.
  • Split peas, boiled – HIGH

fodmap life hazelnuts walnuts almondsNUTS

  • Cashews – HIGH
  • Pistachios – HIGH
  • Hazelnuts – 10 nuts – LOW, 20 nuts has MODERATE amounts of Oligos-GOS and fructans, intake should be limited.
  • Almonds – 10 nuts – LOW, 20 nuts has HIGH amounts of Oligos-GOS, intake should be avoided.
  • Mixed nuts – 9 to 18 assorted -LOW.  Depending on the nuts used, large servings of mixed nuts may contain Oligos-GOS and fructans.
  • Peanuts -16 to 32 nuts – LOW and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.
  • Pine nuts – up to 1 TB – LOW and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.  Larger servings (8 TBS, 100 gm) contains HIGH amounts of the Oligos-fructans and intake should be avoided.
  • Walnuts – 10 nuts – LOW LOW and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.  Larger servings (100 gm) contains MODERATE amounts of the Oligos-fructans and intake should be limited.

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Organic, Vegan, Dairy Free Low FODMAP Chocolate Chip Cookies

I really love chocolate and I love cookies, and on the Low-FODMAP Diet I don’t need to suffer as there are plenty of ways to eat wheat-free, gluten-free cookies, cakes, chocolates and sweets!  Try this recipe for this weekend

Organic, Vegan, Dairy-Free Low-FODMAP Chocolate Chip Cookies


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1/2 C Organic vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C Unsweetened almond milk (I used Whole Foods 365 Organic Almond Milk Unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 TB Organic vanilla extract
  • 1 C Organic brown sugar
  • 1 TB Organic maple syrup
  • 2 C  Gluten-Free Flour (like King Arthur’s)
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 C Vegan chocolate chips (I use the Enjoy Life brand for all my vegan chocolate chip needs)


*Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a bowl combine the vegetable oil with the brown sugar, along with the maple syrup, almond milk & vanilla.
  2. Use a separate bowl to mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Combine everything into one bowl, then mix until smooth.  Slowly add in the chocolate chips.
  4. On a non-stick cookie sheet (I love Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch® pans) drop rounded tablespoons of the dough.  This mixture is a little wet.
  5. The longer you bake these, the crispier they will be.  Bake anywhere from 12-14 minutes.


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Do’s and Don’ts of Sushi and the Low-FODMAP Diet

For anyone who is gluten intolerant, eating out for sushi can be tricky as you run the risk for cross-contamination from traces of gluten-containing ingredients like tempura.  Consider asking your server to speak to the chef and see if they can make your rolls on a clean cutting board and with a clean knife.  Hopefully they will be kind and patient to you and fulfill your desire!

sushi do's and don'ts for the low-fodmap dietFor those who are not gluten intolerant, you will still benefit from the tips below if you are following the low-FODMAP diet!

Tips for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Sushi

  • Rice is gluten-free and wheat-free and is sometimes mixed with vinegar and/or sugar.  No worries here!
  • The seaweed found in sushi rolls is naturally gluten-free and wheat-free.  Seaweed can be nutritious, depending upon how many servings you have.  One of the most noted benefits is its iodine content, and consuming healthy levels of iodine is beneficial to the thyroid gland, which regulates our hormones.  According to the National  “seaweed is rich in some health-promoting molecules and materials such as, dietary fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.”
  • If you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or Hashimoto’s disease, you need to be particularly wary of dipping sauces for sushi.  Most soy sauces or teriyaki contain gluten.  For instance, the second ingredient in All-purpose Kikkoman Soy Sauce is wheat.  They do make a gluten-free version where the ingredients are water, soybeans, rice and salt.  Ask for gluten-free Japanese tamari soy sauce.  There’s also rolls that are made with eel and you’ve probably noticed the barbecue sauce that comes with those rolls – many times the sauce contains gluten.
  • The fish used to fill sushi rolls is gluten-free and wheat-free as are the vegetables and mayonnaise (mayo is also lactose free).  Just be wary of two things: 1) how many rolls you have with avocado and keep in mind that a 1/4 serving of avocado is allowed on the low-FODMAP diet; 2) whether or not crab is in the roll.  Fresh crab is fine but imitation crab has gluten in it from the wheat starch.  Imitation crab is OK for people that are not gluten intolerant, however, consider limiting it because it is processed and also contains various artificial ingredients.
  • Believe it or not some wasabi actually contains gluten.  Some types of wasabi that have been commercially prepared may have been cross-contaminated or made with coloring agents that contain wheat starch.  “Although processing often removes the gluten protein (from wheat starch), some residual gluten can remain so wheat starch is not considered gluten free in the U.S.” Gluten-Free Living.  It is best to stay away wasabi unless you go to a sushi restaurant that prepares it fresh, otherwise you might be enjoying a mix of mustard, European horseradish, and food coloring. Wasabi is basically Japanese horseradish but to make it fresh, the Wasabia japonica rhizome, or root of the plant would be grated fresh, or a 100% authentic, all natural dried ground wasabi powder can be used, which is then mixed with water to become the paste.
  • Sorry guys, but tempura is made from wheat flour.  I know, I know shrimp tempura rolls taste SO good but anything with tempura does not fit with the wheat-free low-FODMAP diet or a strict gluten-free diet.

And I leave you with this inspirational quote loves!

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  Buddha.

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Sources:  Steamy Kitchen, All About Real Wasabi;

Why I Don’t Drink Coffee – Low-FODMAP Diet

The Low-FODMAP diet has cast a bright ray of light on the woes of many who suffer from a myriad of digestive disorders.  As you might have learned already, everyone’s digestive system is different when it comes to what types of foods or drinks that can be tolerated.  Not everyone following the low-FODMAP diet has the same reactions to foods.  High-Fructan foods might be the only cause of one person’s pain but high-lactose might the culprit for another.

After researching the low-FODMAP diet for almost two years and speaking with thousands of people, I have seen complaints across the board for what works and what does not work.  Even though coffee is allowed on the low-FODMAP diet, I’d like to focus today on why I don’t drink it.  If you or someone you know has IBS, gastritis, Crohn’s disease, colitis and ulcers, this post is for you.

No Coffee Low Fodmap DietNo Coffee For Me

Let it be known that you can have coffee on the low-FODMAP diet but just stay away from chicory-based coffee substitutes which are a source of HIGH fructans.

By giving up coffee, I have less OH MY GOD WHERE’S THE BATHROOM moments, and believe me I am much more at ease now and don’t have to worry about what hour I leave the house.  My body is also calmer and relaxed.  I don’t need coffee for energy (I once thought I NEEDED it to get by) and the first fluid to enter my body everyday is water – and a lot of it.  Believe me, I do miss my beloved Peet’s French Roast coffee or trying coffee in different countries.  The smell now is the only thing I miss the most!

Here are some things to know about coffee for those of us with digestive disorders:

  • Caffeine in coffee is just as bad for the body because it speeds up every system in the body, and it has a stimulating effect on the intestines and can increase diarrhea – like very rapidly – that’s all I have to say about that.
  • When you drink coffee first thing, you are actually throwing acid on acid.  Your stomach produces large amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCl) after you’ve drank coffee, which can lead to irritation of your stomach and lining.
  • “De-caffeinated coffee does away with the caffeine, but it still contains acids that can increase stomach acid production.” Amber J. Tresca, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Expert.
  • “In 2007, Consumer Reports tested 36 cups of decaffeinated coffee from six coffee standbys, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Compared to the caffeine found in a regular cup (generally around 100 milligrams), the decaf samples had less, but some packed in over 20.” 12 Surprising Sources of Caffeine,
  • Coffee can cause heartburn -who likes that?
  • “Coffee produces a laxative effect in susceptible people through stimulation of rectosigmoid motor activity, as soon as four minutes after drinking. Even modest doses of coffee can have this effect, whether or not the body is ready to dispose of the
    feces, resulting in loose stools. Studies show that decaffeinated coffee has a similar stimulant effect on the GI tract proving that the laxative effect is not only due to caffeine.” Effects of Caffeine and Coffee on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, & Colitis Reviewed by Meri Rafetto, RD, Theresa Grumet, RD, and Gerri French, RD, MS, CDE.
  • If you have a damaged GI tract, the acid in coffee can prevent healing, and, regular or decaffeinated makes no difference!
  • Caffeine has a diuretic affect, which often dehydrates the body.  You know how your always told to get enough water?  You need it especially if you drink coffee.  Dehydrating the body can mean hard stools that are difficult to pass…and who wants to be constipated?

Where else can you find caffeine?  In much-loved chocolate (stick to low-FODMAP recommendations), coffee-flavored ice cream or frozen yogurt (try a different flavored lactose-free ice cream or yogurt), energy drinks (these also tend to have high fructose), tea, and some medications like painkillers.

Please share your comments below and tell me what works for you.  Everyone is different and we all handle foods and drinks in various ways.  However, it never hurts to consider cutting out coffee for a while to see if there’s any difference in your symptoms. Life has been wonderful for me without coffee!

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Other Sources: International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Your Story: Joana – Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome

jo pinterestFODMAP Life is about bringing people together and supporting one another.  We aim to educate our readers all about the FODMAP Diet, and what it’s like for anyone to have digestive and inflammatory health issues, food allergies or auto-immune diseases.  The section on our website called “Your Story” is where you’ll find real, helpful stories of people just like you.

If you would like to submit your story, please submit at least 200 words, plus a short bio and a photo of yourself to: itsafodmaplife {at} gmail {dot} com.

Your Story: Joana – Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I have been recently diagnosed with Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS) as the result of a nasty gastroenteritis I got in the spring of 2013. Before this date I have never had any major health problems and my eating habits were quite balanced and healthy. I’ve been through a lot before doctors could find an answer to my poor health condition. By sharing my story on FODMAP Life in detail, I hope to help out others who have been through a similar situation and hopefully give some insights to a still unclear condition such as PI-IBS and how to manage it with the low FODMAP diet.

Joana’s Story in Detail

In the end of April 2013 I was working in a fair in Germany and had a business dinner where I ate a hamburger. After half an hour I started feeling very sick, throwing up, with constant bowel emergency and flu like symptoms that continued throughout the night and during the following days. Because I had a very important event the next day, I just went to the pharmacy and took some anti-vomiting meds. I was feeling weak and my belly was sore but kept working for two days before going back home. I finally went to the doctor in the public clinic where I live who told me to rest, drink fluids and eat diet food and that it would eventually pass. I was in bed for a week and things were just never the same again. My belly was all swallowed and cramping, I had constant diarrhea, I was losing weight and feeling very weak. I went back to work and continued my restricted diet of white meat, rice, carrots and boiled apples (a diet poor in essential nutrients that I now believe to have made things even worst).

I remember being on autopilot, going to work in pain, tired and arriving home completely exhausted and incapable of doing anything else than sleep. I went back to the clinic half a dozen times where doctors kept saying it was probably stress related and to continue the diet… Three months after the rotten hamburger I just couldn´t take it anymore and asked for an appointment with a specialist, who ran a bunch of exams: endoscopy, blood, urine and stool test, all negative except for gastritis. I also quit my job and found a quieter half time job that did not involve traveling or such a big workload. Unfortunately it was not the answer as I was hospitalized seven months after the gastroenteritis episode. I was extremely thin (lost 10kg, 1/5 of my weight) and weak (my blood pressure was very low: 8-4). In the hospital they performed a colonoscopy, a lactose breathing test and other exams; all negative except for a slightly hight CRP (blood inflammation levels common in PI-IBS) and a high calprotectine (a marker for intestinal bowel disease). According to the specialists, these results still didn’t explain my poor general state so they pointed anorexia as the probable cause (!). At this point my companion argued with the doctor and asked him to monitor what I was eating – I was always hungry and eating so much that I even had family and friends bring food over, as the hospital food was not enough! Was sent back home with no clear diagnosis. Then other results arrived and showed I had some minor lesions in the small intestine confirmed by a special MRI and the capsule endoscopy. I was called back to the hospital where they diagnosed me with Crohn´s disease. They prescribed Budesonide, a corticosteroid drug and I got back to work. I was feeling great the first two weeks but then suddenly I started to feel so tired I could not walk anymore… I was even worse than before! – I know now that this drug increases intestinal permeability in PI-IBS patients who already have a malabsorption condition. I was hospitalized again, did another colonoscopy and endoscopy and the only relevant results were vitamine B12 deficiency and some lesions in the colon consistent with celiac disease (diagnosis not confirmed by the biopsy nor blood tests). They wanted me to drink supplements with lactose, which I refused as I was not able to digest dairy products since the problem started.

Ultimately I was sent back home again with another unclear diagnosis. Desperate, I consulted with a functional medicine doctor who ran a food sensitivities test. The results said I was sensitive to gluten, dairy and a lot of high FODMAP foods (didn’t know that at the time)! After just 3 days of eating with these food restrictions I had energy again and was able to climb stairs without any effort! It was an amazing recovery and I was feeling great! The only downside was that I was still bloated. This encouraged me to research deeper and find the low FODMAP diet. I started the diet in April 2014 (a year after the gastroenteritis) and the bloating, cramps and diarrhea were finally under control. I went back to see the gastroenterologist who confirmed the diagnosis of Post-Infectious IBS and referred me to one of the two Belgian nutritionists specialized on the low FODMAP diet. Thanks to it I have gained weight and strength back and am able to manage my IBS.


A gastroenteritis and the consequent late diagnosis of IBS inhibited me from having a normal life for more that a year. I have been very ill mainly due to malabsorption and diarrhea that led to huge weight and energy loss. Doctors couldn´t find the cause or proper treatment. I finally started to get better with the help of the low FODMAP diet. It worked wonders on my sensitive gut and was literally a lifesaver for me! Since then I am focused on helping others suffering from the same condition by sharing my story and low FODMAP cooking tips. You can find me here: Thank you for reading.


My name is Joana and I´m a Portuguese cultural manager and a passionate foodie living in Belgium. I have been recently diagnosed with Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I now follow the low FODMAP diet. As a result of this experience I have created the blog My Gut Feeling ( where I share my story and low FODMAP friendly recipes.

My Pregnancy, Low Fodmap and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS lends its mark on many pregnant women, and yes, one of those fortunate ladies is me!  I am halfway through my second trimester and my IBS is starting to kick up a notch.

My FODMAP Life and Pregnancy

Says an article on “Upwards to a third of pregnant women experience increased constipation, particularly during the last trimester” well it’s already happening to me now at week 19!  Metamucil is listed as safe by my doctor to use and it is making a slight difference. The article goes on to note that “Changes in the ovarian hormones, which are elevated during pregnancy, and the physical pressure the growing baby places on the bowel wall, may both contribute to GI symptoms.”  I believe it!

I am abiding by the Low Fodmap Diet and it’s still helping my overall health, and I think the second part to my success is eating slowly, uninterrupted and having VERY small quantities at a time.  I say this because when I do, my gut stays quiet and calm, and when I haven’t followed my own rules, I look like I’m much further along in my pregnancy and food comes back up my throat.  Who likes that?!

A typical day for me starts out with an egg white omelet with spinach, maybe some Low Fodmap cheese and Low Fodmap herbs.  For snacks I like Low Fodmap veggies and fruits, gluten-free crackers, popcorn, a rice cake with almond butter, lactose-free yogurt, Jay Robb’s egg white protein to add in my shakes, Low Fodmap cheese and sometimes I get a nice protein boost from one of my favorite brands Applegate Farms turkey breast (no antibiotics and hormones, no nitrates or nitrites).  For dinner there’s again always protein (very important for pregnancy), greens and a smaller serving of brown rice, quinoa, rice noodles or other gluten-free and wheat-free pasta, or polenta.

I am supposed to be drinking loads of water everyday but I have to drink slowly, otherwise I feel as though a bout with vomiting is coming on.  My goal is to finish 8 oz. of water every hour and sometimes success finds me, and sometimes it does not.  Migraine headaches have been creeping around and I think they are neck pain, pregnancy and Hashimoto’s Disease related.  I can only speculate that one of the best ways to keep migraines quiet and calm is to again DRINK LOADS OF WATER.

Want to see my Baby Reveal?

Non-Drug Therapies for IBS and Pregnancy

From the several notable sources regarding how to manage IBS and pregnancy, many dole out the same information we have all been learning about according to the Low Fodmap Diet:

  • Relaxation therapy – or meditation for digestion.  And specifically some slow (prenatal) yoga.
  • Fiber – and of course picking the right type of fiber that won’t increase symptoms.
  • Reduction of gas-producing foods – like the cruciferous HIGH FODMAP vegetables (that I once enjoyed long ago) that slowly come to plague you later on: beans, cabbage, legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, len­tils, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Keep sugary foods to a limit (of course!) and have drinks with electrolytes (make sure those drinks aren’t high in FODMAPs like fructose or sugar alcohols).
  • My naturopathic doctor has me on probiotics that are not as well known as Align, but they are certainly doing the trick.

Sources: info was adapted from IFFGD Publication #183 by Margaret Heitkemper, RN, PhD, Professor of Nursing and Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Onion and Garlic Replacements for the low-FODMAP diet!

Onions and garlic definitely seem to be one of THE hardest things for everyone to live without OR to live without accidentally eating in your next meal. Many of you are not aware of Asafoetida or asafetida powder. This can be used in place of onions, and it’s very strong so use it sparingly.

What is Asafoetida Powder?-Asafoetida  low fodmap diet

Asafoetida powder, which is also known as Hing, is used in a wide variety of Indian dishes.  It’s derived from a species of giant fennel, and has a very unique and pungent smell and flavor. In Indian cooking, it’s used often times with legumes and vegetable dishes like those that use cauliflower. Cooking mellows out this spice, and you’ll think you’re tasting onion and/or garlic.  Make sure you buy a wheat-free version!

Here is where you can buy a wheat-free version.

Also – Asafoetida is said to reduce the growth of indigenous microflora in the gut, thereby reducing flatulence! (see sources below).

Try Garlic-Infused Oilgarlic

The other item you can use (if you miss garlic like me!) is garlic-infused oil. I wrote a post on it some time ago:

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Sources: Definition – The Spice House; On reduction of flatulenceThe Hindu; S. K. Garg, A. C. Banerjea, J. Verma and M. J. Abraham, “Effect of Various Treatments of Pulses on in Vitro Gas Production by Selected Intestinal Clostridia”. Journal of Food Science, Volume 45, Issue 6 (p. 1601–1602).

Foods to Avoid and Eat for Ulcerative Colitis

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease which disturbs the digestive tract, resulting in significant damage to the large intestine.  Foods do not cure or cause Ulcerative Colitis, but they can trigger symptoms.  Also, neither Crohn’s disease nor ulcerative colitis is related to food allergies.  According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America: “People with IBD may think they are allergic to foods because they associate the symptoms of IBD with eating.”

This is one of the more easier photos to get a sense of the damage from ulcerative colitis.  UC does incredible damage to the colon.

This photo gives you a sense of the damage from ulcerative colitis. UC does incredible damage to the colon and you can ‘Google’ photos to see for yourself.

Just like with the Low Fodmap Diet, keep a food journal to document everything you eat and drink on a daily basis.  You may know someone who has UC and does not experience symptoms after eating a certain food that happens to cause you utter pain.  Keeping a food diary will help your healthcare professional to determine the most suitable foods for your individual needs.  For instance, I have IBS, and though cucumbers are allowed on the Low Fodmap Diet, they cause me trouble, but that’s not the case for everyone else.  When it comes to digestive issues we are all different, however taking certain tried and true precautions may help you.

Foods & Drinks to Avoid for Ulcerative Colitis

  • Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can out you at risk for flaring or a relapse in the form of a severe and acute attack.  Some health professionals suggest limiting alcohol intake during social situations and completely avoiding it at home.
  • Caffeine in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks can stimulate the colon to contract which promotes more bowel movements.  Also be aware of energy drinks made with the stimulant guarana.
  • Carbonated drinks – caffeine, sugar and artificial sweeteners can increase gas and the carbonation can cause cramping -ouch.  I wish everyone would just give up soda – it’s the worst drink on the planet!
  • Milk or milks products – not everyone with UC has trouble, but take note in your diary if you experience symptoms. If you do have trouble it could be because you cannot properly digest lactose, the sugar present in milk and other milk products.  Make an appointment to get a lactose tolerance test.
  • Onions are difficult to digest as they contain a natural type of sugar called fructose that causes gas – yet they can be found in so many foods!  Read menus and labels carefully so you can avoid this stinky culprit!
  • Beans & Legumes – try smaller portions.  Another example – instead of eating whole chickpeas, try a little hummus.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables might bother you, so try steaming, baking or stewing them.
  • Cruciferous vegetables can cause gas, bloating and cramping for most with UC (cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts).
  • Whole seeds and tiny seeds (found in strawberries and raspberries) can cause problems.  Ground flaxseed and tamari (sesame seed paste) might be a better option.
  • Dried fruits have moderate amounts of sulfate (and are dense in sugar).  The more sulfate you ingest, the more of it’s available for colon bacteria to make sulfide gases.
  • Corn and mushrooms (as well as broccoli and cabbage) are often times avoided during a flare up as they cannot be completed digested and can cause irritation in the gut as well as diarrhea.
  • Fatty meats – stick to leaner meats or ground up meat and remember to chew everything slowly and thoroughly.  Tough meats like steaks can be very hard on the GI tract.
  • Whole nuts or crunchy nut butters as well as popcorn can cause irritation (and literally get caught) during digestion and bowel movements. Stick to smooth nut butters.
  • Rich foods (condiments, sauces) like carbonara sauce, Alfredo sauce, gravies, heavy desserts or mayonnaise can trigger symptoms.
  • Chocolate has both caffeine and sugar which can irritate the gut.  Try consuming one small square of dark chocolate (has less sugar) to keep your insides relaxed.
  • Sugar alcohols found in sugar-free sweets and candies (like sorbitol or anything ending in ‘ol’) can cause gas, diarrhea, cramping -you name it!

Foods to Help Prevent Ulcerative Colitis Flare-ups

  • Bread, cereal, and whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables not listed above
  • Lean meat, fish, and poultry (remember no tough meat like steaks)
  • Low-fat dairy products (consider getting the lactose tolerance test)
  • Healthy fats such as cold pressed, unrefined vegetable oils

More Tips!

  • Have your blood levels checked to ensure you are not deficient in folate, potassium, vitamin D, B Vitamins, calcium or iron.
  • Try some Curcumin, a substance in Turmeric spice – According to the University of Maryland Medical Center: “Turmeric may help people with ulcerative colitis stay in remission.  In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, people whose ulcerative colitis was in remission took either curcumin or placebo, along with conventional medical treatment, for 6 months. Those who took curcumin had a relapse rate much lower than those who took placebo.”
  • Remember to eat slowly and have smaller meals and drink plenty of water.
  • When you eat the right foods and avoid the wrong foods for ulcerative colitis, make sure you are taking enough of the nutritional supplements you need if you’re unable to eat a balanced diet due to certain food group restrictions.  An example would be to make sure to get enough calcium if you have lactose intolerance.
  • Vitamins, minerals, fish, fish oils and the right amount or type of fiber are key to helping you succeed.
  • A Certified Nutritional Consultant can help you with a food and supplement plan.

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Sources: The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America; Frank W. Jackson, M.D. Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology (on sulfate); Healthline Ulcerative Colitis and Alcohol by Michael Sapko reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA; Turmeric | University of Maryland Medical Center;

The Low Fodmap Diet and Celiac Disease

Intestinal Damage Of GlutenWhat is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a chronic condition that affects the body for its lifetime.  Whenever someone with celiac disease ingests gluten, an abnormal immune system response is triggered, damaging the small intestine.

People with celiac disease need to avoid ALL gluten.  The same goes for people with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Hashimoto’s Disease, an auto-immune condition (learn more here).  Tiny villi tissues line our small intestines.  They help us to absorb vitamins, nutrients and sugars from foods.  When a celiac patient ingests gluten, the villi of their small intestine flatten out, causing damage and the inability to absorb vital nutrients.  Sometimes someone with celiac who ingests gluten doesn’t feel or experience symptoms, but at the same time, they are slowly damaging the small intestine.  I thought that people with celiac are diagnosed at birth, but in actuality, more and more people are experiencing symptoms and being diagnosed in their 20s, 30s and 40s.  If you have abnormal liver blood tests, anemia or an  autoimmune diseases like diabetes or thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s makes the cut), get yourself checked for celiac disease.

According to the Celiac Support Association® common symptoms of celiac disease include:

  • Abdominal cramping/bloating
  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Energy loss
  • Fatigue
  • Difficult to concentrate / foggy brain
  • Infertility
  • Irritable bowel
  • Joint pain
  • Menorrhagia
  • Mouth sores or cracks in the corners
  • Osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Gluten Free & Low Fodmap Diets

A gluten free diet must be adhered to at all times for people with celiac disease.  I have IBS and Hashimoto’s disease and have been instructed by my endocrinologist (who also has Hashimoto’s -except not as bad) to avoid all gluten, and it’s definitely made a difference in my life.  Though my health has improved, it’s still difficult at times to know all sources of gluten found in foods. Working with a Registered Dietitian or Certified Nutritional Consultant can help uncover all the hidden sources of gluten and possibly help to identify the cause of symptoms.

If consumed, low FODMAP foods should not cause damage to the small intestine.  Most gluten-free foods are almost always wheat-free, but not all gluten-free foods are low FODMAP (example, Rudi’s gluten free breads are delicious but contain HIGH FODMAP ingredients).

Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LD suggests that if you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms to “ask your doctor if you should be tested for celiac disease before starting a low-FODMAP diet,” and that “once you’ve cut out wheat, barley and rye from your diet for a while, celiac tests are no longer accurate.”  Another interesting fact she shared:

  • “If you have celiac disease and already eat gluten-free, but still suffer from gastrointestinal complaints, FODMAPs may be to blame. Especially early in your diagnosis, before intestinal healing is complete on your gluten-free diet, you may be prone to poor absorption of lactose, fructose and sorbitol. Once you have been gluten-free for a long time, your ability to tolerate foods containing these carbohydrates may improve a good deal.”

Bread groupWheat Derived Ingredients

Be aware of wheat-derived ingredients that have gluten!  People with Hashimoto’s won’t feel the severity or threatening symptoms from gluten the way celiacs do, but sources say that gluten can stay in the body for up to six months, so do the absolute best you can to avoid gluten.  Here are some examples:

  • Barley is a grain that contains gluten.  You’ll find it in soups or malt flavoring.
  • Buckwheat is gluten-free but don’t assume all buckwheat products are gluten free.  Buckwheat can sometimes be combined with wheat flour in pancake and baking mixes.
  • Dextrin is gluten-free be wary, though rare, its sometimes made from wheat.
  • Gluten containing grains bulgur, durum, einkorn, farina, graham, kamut, semolina, and spelt are all forms of wheat.
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein is not gluten-free.
  • Malt flavoring is usually made from barley and is not gluten free.  Malt extract, malt syrup and malt flour are made from barley and are not gluten free.
  • Modified food starch is gluten free unless it is made from wheat.
  • Oats – only those that are grown in such a way to eliminate cross-contamination can be labeled gluten-free.
  • Rice is gluten free but can sometimes come packaged as a rice mix with seasonings that contains wheat.
  • Seasonings can be gluten-free or not if they contain wheat starch or wheat flour.
  • Seitan is made from wheat gluten so it contains gluten.  There are some recipes out there for gluten-free seitan but consider ignoring those!
  • Soba Japanese noodles made from buckwheat are gluten-free, however always check to make sure they’ve not been made with wheat flour.
  • Several soy sauces are made with wheat.  If you’re out dining at a Japanese restaurant ask for tamari.  If at home try Bragg’s Amino Acids.
  • Spelt is not gluten-free.
  • Teriyaki sauces are usually made with wheat though you can still find gluten-free brands.
  • Tofu when plain and not flavored with soy sauce (made from wheat) is gluten-free.
  • Triticale is a cross bred hybrid of wheat and rye that contains gluten.  It was first “bred in laboratories during the late 19th century in Scotland and Sweden.” {source USDA}
  • Wheat starch is a starch made from wheat.  Even after processing some residual gluten can remain so it’s not considered gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Labeling

According to Food Safety Magazine: “Gluten-free” counts towards gluten-free foods or gluten-free ingredients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has defined “gluten-free” as less than 20 ppm (mg/kg) of gluten. Other countries use this definition as well (and some countries have established a category of low-gluten foods that are defined as less than 100 ppm gluten). Here is the U.S., our regulations (at this time) don’t recognize low-gluten foods. Our gluten-free regulations also establishes other conditions that must be met by any U.S. food labeled gluten-free:
•    The food must not contain any ingredient that is a gluten-containing grain.
•    The food may only contain an ingredient derived from a gluten-containing source, if that ingredient has been processed in a manner to remove gluten residues to a level of less than 20 ppm.

Food Safety magazine goes on to say that from a clinical perspective “ingesting gluten-free foods containing less than 20 ppm gluten appears to be safe for celiac sufferers.”

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Additional Sources for this post: – Ingredients Index

What about Coconut for the Low Fodmap Diet?

Fresh Organic Coconut WaterI receive many questions from our fans about coconut – and for good reason!  Coconut is de-licious and provides some nourishment and essential fatty acids.

Coconut has some carbohydrate and fiber as well as traces of B vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.  It has some minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper and iron (the best).  Phytonutrients include galactomannan, pectin, shikimic acid, squalene and vanillin.

Coconut is also used in cooking, baking as well as in beauty products!

Suitable Quantities and Types of Coconut

Coconut Water – a serving size of 100 ml (3.4 fluid oz) is low FODMAP. A serving of 250 ml (8.45 fluid oz) is HIGH FODMAP.

Coconut Milk – it is a good milk alternative but keep in mind some cannot tolerate coconut or rice milk made with brown rice. Stick to a 1/2 cup serving.

Shredded dried coconut (also known as dessicated) – is allowed in a 1/4 cup per meal or snack.

Coconut Oil – All oils like coconut, flax, soybean, nut oils, and seed oils are low in FODMAPs.  Buy cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil.

Coconut is high in fat, but it’s good fat.  Some who experience digestive issues and who are especially sensitive to fat intake should go lightly on coconut oil or any oil for that matter.  Consume anywhere from 165 calories per day of low FODMAP oils, nuts and seeds (1.33 TB oil or 1 oz. nuts/seeds for a 1,800 calorie program) to 200 calories per day (1.7 TB oil or 1 ¼ oz. nuts/seeds for a 2,000 calorie program).

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POLL: What Low Fodmap Recipes Do You Need the Most?

Please VOTE and tell us which types of Low Fodmap recipes you need the most!



Low Fodmap Peanut Butter Cookies!

These cookies are so delicious!  They work with the low fodmap diet, are wheat free, gluten free, soy free and lactose free!  It’s an especially helpful recipe for celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive disorders as well as those with auto-immune diseases like Hashimoto’s.

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The cookies are very easy and quick to make.  Bake them for your kids, have them as a snack to enjoy at work or while on the run. Enjoy!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Ingredientslow fodmap wheat free gluten free peanut butter cookies

  • 1 C organic peanut butter
  • 1 C organic sugar
  • 1 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TB organic maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse Himalayan sea salt (optional)


  • Use a medium-sized bowl and mix together the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and egg.  Spoon out about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie and place on an un-greased cookie sheet, about one inch apart.  Use the prongs of a fork to gently press down and flatten the cookie.  Press down again about a quarter clockwise to make what’s called a crosshatch pattern.  Optional – lightly sprinkle salt on top of the cookies.
  • Bake for five minutes, then turn the cookie sheet 180 degrees and continue baking.  Check on your cookies about five minutes later – they should be golden brown around the edges.

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Low FODMAP Flours and Breads!

The Low Fodmap Diet can be tricky to follow especially if you are not careful enough with what products you buy.  There are gluten-free breads that are wheat free but have FODMAPs.  Ingredients with FODMAPs found in bread and/or flours are:honey, agave, chicory root extract (inulin), soybean or other bean flours (like garbanzo), apple or pear juice concentrate, dates, figs.

To make your journey with the Low Fodmap Diet a bit easier, I asked Registered Dietitians and other FODMAPs experts from the U.S. and the U.K. what kind of bread and flours they like most – have a look!

Breads with Low Fodmap Ingredients

EA Stewart, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, of Del Mar (San Diego) CA likes Udi’s White Sandwich Bread which consists of: Water, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, canola oil, egg whites, potato starch, modified food starch, tapioca maltodextrin, dried cane syrup, tapioca syrup, yeast, gum (xanthan gum, sodium alginate, guar gum), salt, locust bean gum, cultured corn syrup solids and citric acid (mold inhibitor), enzymes. Contains egg.

Flours with Low Fodmap Ingredients

Kate Scarlata Registered and Licensed Dietitian in Boston, MA likes:

Mel Rendall and Lee Martin, two Registered Dietitians (RD)  from London like to make gluten-free flatbread using Dove’s Farm. This gluten-free white bread flour is a flour blend (rice, potato and tapioca) and xanthan gum.

Low Fodmap Bread Recipe

Gluten-free and low FODMAP Bread – by Suzanne Perazzini, author of the Low Fodmap Menus cookbook and the creator of the Inspired Life Low Fodmap Coaching program
  • 1.5 cups white rice flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh yeast granules
  1. Place everything in a breadmaker and put it on the dough setting.
  2. I wanted it to rise more than the breadmaker allowed so I removed it when it was mixed, placed it in an oiled loaf tin and placed it in the drawer under the oven to stay warm for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you knock the top with a knuckle.
  5. Let sit in the loaf tin for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.
  6. Let cool completely before slicing.

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Gluten-Free Does Not Always Mean FODMAP Free

Gluten-free does not always mean FODMAP free and Gluten is not a FODMAP!  You’ll find gluten-free foods that work well on a low-FODMAP diet, but not all of them are FODMAP free!


FODMAPs Expert: Patsy Catsos

FODMAPs Expert: Patsy Catsos

According to Registered Dietitian Patsy Catsos, “Sometimes people have bad reactions to one of the many proteins in wheat. Examples? Gluten is the wheat protein that causes the symptoms of celiac disease. Celiac disease can cause gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, but symptoms aren’t necessarily limited to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

“Wheat, barley and rye also contain certain carbohydrates, fructans, which can cause IBS symptoms for some people. Fructans are a type of dietary fiber, one of the FODMAP carbohydrates. Because the US diet revolves around wheat, it’s by far the biggest food source of fructans for Americans. It’s not hard to see how much overlap there is between a gluten-free diet and a lower-FODMAP diet.

“If you have celiac disease and already eat gluten-free, but still suffer from gastrointestinal complaints, FODMAPs may be to blame. Especially early in your diagnosis, before intestinal healing is complete on your gluten-free diet, you may be prone to poor absorption of lactose, fructose and sorbitol. Once you have been gluten-free for a long time, your ability to tolerate foods containing these carbohydrates may improve a good deal.


As an example, if you are trying out the Low Fodmap Diet and want to buy some gluten free bread – just make sure it doesn’t have FODMAPs ingredients like these: honey, agave, chicory root extract (inulin), soybean or other bean flours (like garbanzo), apple or pear juice concentrate, dates, figs.

What else? Check out our list of FOODS TO AVOID to understand where else you may find wheat, and learn about the foods you CAN eat from our GROCERY LIST.


Low Fodmap Roasted Brussels Sprouts

brussels-sproutsA delicious recipe for this holiday season!

*Brussels Sprouts are a moderate fructan food so when serving this recipe with family and friends, make sure YOU only have a 1/2 C serving.  If you feel you’ll want to eat more (and won’t be able to control yourself), you can also substitute cauliflower for brussels sprouts as those are low-fructan foods.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts
1/2 TBS Garlic-infused oil
5-7 slices bacon, chopped
Sea Salt (or Himalayan Crystal Salt) & Pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)

Chop the brussels sprouts in half
Place chopped bacon in the frying pan and saute on medium heat
Add the garlic-infused oil and the brussels sprouts
Add a pinch of salt, and a pinch or two of pepper, as well as a pinch of cayenne pepper if you want a spicier dish
Continue cooking everything over medium heat until the brussels sprouts are cooked through. Enjoy!

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San Diego’s Greenbee – So Delicious!

IMG_1710Have you ever tried a healthy green juice but it literally left you feeling green?  There are many awesome, delicious, vibrant green juices out there, and many that well, just didn’t do it for me.  However recently I was contacted by San Diego’s Greenbee to try their Greenbee Super Smoothie and Super Soup and both were delicious!


I loved the bottle with strainer that they gave me. Very convenient!


Greenbee Super Smoothie is an unpasteurized, fresh, nutrient-rich juice loaded with high levels of delicious, organic super foods.  This juice includes royal jelly (possibly helps balance hormones, increase fertility and deliver anti-aging benefits), GREENS kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, swiss chard, collard greens, romaine lettuce, parsley and SUPER FOODS flaxseeds, spirulina, chlorella, ginger root, acerola cherry, lemon juice, banana, raw honey and apple.  

I know what some of you FODMAPers are saying!  There’s definitely some HIGH Fodmap foods in this juice, however, being the experimental person that I am, I had to see how this juice would hold up with my guts.  Did I have symptoms?  Nope.  I felt excellent.  The amount of any high fodmap ingredients was minimal.  I actually drank the juice in the morning before going to the gym, and it was the first thing to enter my digestive system.  I don’t drink coffee anymore because of both my IBS and Hashimoto’s disease, so this juice was a wonderful pick me up.

I highly suggest that if you have IBS, Hashimoto’s or any other auto-immune disease that you consider getting a local delivery service like Greenbee to ensure you have fresh juice everyday. If you already have a juicer and make great use of it and live in San Diego, CA, I still think you’ll find this juice will be one of the best you’ve ever had.

greenbee detox soupDETOX SOUP, YUM!

I also had the Super Cleanse (Detox) Super Soup, which was designed to kick-start the metabolism and detoxify the body.  It was SO luscious, creamy and no overpowering flavors.  It had me thinking that I’d love to have a little bit of it every week!  A renowned San Diego Chef helped to develop this nutritious recipe which includes: daikon radish, leeks, paprika, cayenne, curry, carrots, cauliflower, coconut oil, kale and just a tad of garlic.  I did not have any IBS symptoms from the garlic or any other ingredient.

If you are in the San Diego, California area I would definitely recommend signing up for their delivery service!  If need be, you can cancel at any time.  Right now they are offering 50% off the first week, check it out:  They have weekly, monthly and six month plans.

Read more about Co-Founders Dave and Kent here:

A Review of Bioterra Herbs for Digestion

For your digestion needs, are you taking any supplements to help with gas and bloating?  I recently came across BioTerra Herbs – drug-free, eco friendly, gluten free, GMO free, vegan supplements.  They do not have any HIGH Fodmap ingredients.  BioTerra Herbs makes a product they call “belch” to help relieve stomach discomfort.  The picture on the packaging alone makes you want to belch (girl with strange make-up eating a greasy ham pizza).

digestion-belch-bloating-gas-stomach-bioterraI usually try and stay away from “heavy” meals (definition – too much food at once OR meals with too much fat in one sitting) because they tend to make me sick or bring on the IBS symptoms (you guys know the deal!).  I gave the Belch supplements a whirl after a recent client dinner – a situation where I obviously have no control over the menu.  It was at a gorgeous house where the host graciously made everything herself – all very French.  If you’ve had French food before, you would know that it is indeed heavy!  Luckily she had added in some leafy greens and chilled seafood, but I was afraid of how’d I feel after the meat course.

BioTerra suggests to take 2 capsules 10 minutes after a heavy meal.  I pranced off to the bathroom when I got the chance and took the supplements.  I did feel good the next day but I am not sure if it was BioTerra or not that helped.  BioTerra suggests using this product for at least one to two weeks because that’s when “most people feel the difference in their health herbal supplements.”  I think the true test for this supplement will come in handy (those following the Low Fodmap Diet, those with digestive disorders) during the holiday season.  Why?  That’s the only time when I can think that a week or two goes by when most might have had too much food.  Otherwise this product is just really good for people who on a daily basis, choose to eat poorly, eat heavily and do not care for their symptoms.  People like us with digestive disorders that want to make a difference in how we feel are a bit more careful (at least you try most of the time – it’s a constant learning process).

Belch is a proprietary blend of Chinese Rhubarb (root & rhizome), Sparganium (rhizome), Betelnut Palm (seed), Zedoary (rhizome), and Orange (young fruit).

If you’d like to try Belch over the holidays,  you can try a 30 day supply for $19.99.  Buy them here.  Let me know how you do!

Primal Pit Paste Review and Giveaway!

primal pit pasteOn FODMAP Life I talk about different natural foods and food products that are safer for us to eat.  We can’t forget about what we put on our skin, in our hair or on our nails.  That’s why I am slowly making the transition to KNOCK OUT the products on my shelves that have harmful chemicals and/or synthetic ingredients.  What’s my new go-to everyday product?

Ever since I tried a sample of Primal Pit Paste at Expo East last year I have been hooked!  It’s totally changed my view of deodorants.  I know there has been a lot of research about the correlation of breast cancer to the use of antiperspirants.

What’s the Deal with Aluminum?

Aluminum is a common ingredient in deodorant and antiperspirants, and is often linked to Alzheimer’s and brain disorders. It also poses a possible risk factor in breast cancer.  Aluminum compounds or aluminum salts, such as aluminum oxide (Al2O3), are key ingredients in almost every antiperspirant. They are powerful astringents that close pores, stopping sweat and odor from escaping the body. Antiperspirants may leave the outside of the body smelling fresh and clean – but inside, the toxins that would have escaped the body in the sweat have nowhere to go. For this reason, antiperspirants have been linked to problems with the sweat glands and lymph glands in and around the underarms. (source: Victoria Anisman-Reiner).

fodmap life primal pit pasteBack in the Day & Now

Back in the early 2000s I had tried other natural deodorants and they did not work very well – at all.  Not enough to convince me to stop using the regular junk on the shelves at drug stores.  Then I took Primal Pit Paste Sticks for a real test-drive.  I went to the sweltering hot temperatures of Nicaragua to photograph my husband surfing in April.  I was using Primal Pit Paste in Thyme & Lemongrass and left the beaches smelling fabulous.  Next stop was Hawaii in May for my birthday, and still I frolicked on land and sea and felt confident and pretty as Primal Pit Paste in Lavender guarded my pits. Then I went to an entrepreneurial event called  Awesomeness Fest in Thailand for a few weeks and tried both scents again in weather that was humid, hot or sometimes came with rainfall – still no complaints.  I felt better knowing that I was using a safe, natural product in an area that is so close to my precious boobies!

The Scoop

  • Primal Pit Paste is a truly organic, all-natural deodorant that ACTUALLY WORKS!
  • Primal Pit Paste is available in Regular, light, Strong and Kids varieties. My favorites are the Primal Pit Paste Sticks in Thyme & Lemongrass, Lavender and Jasmine.  You can SHOP for them here.amy cazin
  • Founder Amy Cazin’s turned her passion of concern and love into finding a way to protect her daughter and provide the world with a safe alternative to harmful products. She turned her energy into research, and that research into Primal Pit Paste. She believes that through Primal Pit Paste, she’s succeeded in making a healthy, organic deodorant that actually works for all types of moms, dads, kids and athletes alike.
  • Her mission: is to “provide you with a truly natural and organic deodorant that not only works but is actually good for you! lav_Stick__27583.1415811144.1280.1280By spreading awareness of the known harmful chemicals and potential dangers in personal care products we hope you will Go Primal and spread Primal Pit Paste on your Pits!”
  • All products are handcrafted and made in smaller batches, so please allow up to 5 business days for your order to be prepared and fulfilled.

The Giveaway

  • It’s simple!  Just go to our page at 5p.m. PST on Thursday November 20th and you will see a brand new post.  Just comment underneath with your answer!
  • Three winners will be chosen to receive $25 gift certificates to go shopping at
  • This contest is open to everyone, worldwide!

See you on Thursday! ~ Colleen

Recipe: Low Fodmap Rosemary Chicken Salad

This delicious Rosemary Chicken Salad recipe uses only seven ingredients.  It’s lactose-free, soy-free and gluten-free! Great for picnics and parties, this make-ahead recipe can be doubled or tripled to feed larger crowds. If not serving immediately, make extra dressing and toss it in just before plating.  Delicious!

  • Rosemary Chicken Salad1/4 cup full-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lactose-free plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 2 cups cubed grilled chicken
  • 2 cups sliced, seedless grapes
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Serves 4

In a small bowl, make dressing: whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, and rosemary. In a large bowl, combine dressing with chicken and grapes and toss until combined. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Source: The Everything® Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet by Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley, CPC .  Dr. Bolen has been actively covering the low-FODMAP diet since the first research articles started coming out of Australia. Every day she hears heartbreaking stories about what it’s like to live with IBS.  Kathleen Bradley was diagnosed with IBS in 2011 and has studied the FODMAP diet extensively in an effort to ease her own symptoms. She has real-life experience in putting low-FODMAP recipes on the table.

Always check labels on all packaged goods used in the context of any low-FODMAP recipe prior to recipe preparation or consumption to be sure they do not contain high-FODMAP ingredients.



How to NOT Derail Your Diet this Holiday Season

santa holidays fodmap lifeHalloween is almost here, followed by Thanksgiving next month and Christmas after that. While many people find joy in the holiday season, for those trying to lose weight it can be the most miserable time of the year. Is it possible to not derail your diet this time of year?  These tips pertain to YOU on the Low Fodmap Diet or anyone with a digestive disorder.  Remember the Low Fodmap Diet is not a fad diet, and it’s not meant to be used to lose weight.  However, if you have a digestive disorder or food allergy and ALSO need to shed a few pounds, read Colin Christopher’s healthy tips for how to stay on track!

Colin Christopher, a clinical hypnotherapist certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners, and author of Success Through Manipulation:


–          Don’t skip meals this holiday season: Some people skip meals thinking they will be able to consume more goodies at Halloween, more turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving and more of Christmas dinner.  This will guarantee your failure as it leads to increased hunger, binge eating and depriving your body of necessary calories to convert to energy.

–          Have a plan: Bad food choices are going to be in abundance this time of year.  Have a plan in place so you don’t succumb to these negative choices (especially when you need Low Fodmap variations).  Choose healthier options, drink plenty of water which is good for you and will fill you up, and stop eating when your body feels satisfied.


Colin Christopher

–          Don’t compare yourself to others: Just because Aunt Mildred shows up to Thanksgiving dinner and she’s 100 pounds heavier than you, doesn’t give you permission to go on an eating spree.  Instead, compare yourself to people more fit than you or people whose body you aspire to look like.  This will keep you on course.

–          You are responsible: If you gain five pounds at Thanksgiving, it’s your fault.  Stop blaming the holiday, the Halloween candy, the turkey or the pumpkin pie.  It’s very possible to control what you eat this time of year but it’s ultimately your responsibility.

–          Learn to say no: When Aunt Mildred insists that you try her world famous pecan pie, politely decline.  Explain to her that you are on a specific diet and very serious about getting your body healthy.  She will understand. Same goes for the kids or the neighbors with candy on Halloween.

–          Exercise doesn’t give you the right to eat poorly: Many people think they can go for a long bike ride or hit the gym a few times during the holidays so they can indulge in the holiday feast.  Working out and exercise is great, but it’s never a pass to load up on bad food at the holidays.

–          Let your clothes be a reminder: Don’t wear something that fits loosely and hides any excess fat.  Wear something that just fits your body and may not be the most flattering.  Let this be a reminder when you grab for that dessert, second serving or the Halloween bowl. This is also a great way to reinforce the idea in your subconscious mind that it’s time to get healthy.

–          Traveling for the holidays is no excuse: A lot of patients tell me they indulged in fast food or a bag of chips because it was the only option at the airport.  When traveling, pack a healthy meal (with Low Fodmap snacks like veggies, fruit and nuts) before you board your flight or hit the road this holiday season.

–          Dig deep: Whether the temptation is Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies or other holiday season food, dig deep and ask yourself how bad you want to see results.  If you really commit to the process, you can lose weight (and get your digestive system) healthy – even at the holidays.  Being partially committed never works.

Love Feijoas? They are HIGH in FODMAPs

feijoas fodmap lifeAs recently reported by the researchers at the Monash University FODMAP laboratory, the team recently completed the testing of feijoas which contain high amounts of excess fructose!

“Our team has received many requests from dietitians in New Zealand about the FODMAP content of the popular fruit, otherwise known as the pineapple guava”.

The feijoa fruit is green, and around the size of an egg. It is sweet, and aromatic in flavor and has a juicy flesh. It can be found in southern Brazil (where my husband grew up!), areas of Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay as well as northern Argentina. Feijoas are also grown throughout Azerbaijan , Georgia, Russia (Sochi) and New Zealand.

 An overall rating of RED FODMAP RATING
Feijoa  – 1 serve (2 small feijoas) 100grams ( 3.5 ounces) HIGH
Feijoa – ½ serve (1 small feijoa) 50 grams  ( 1.7 ounces) HIGH

“The serving sizes specified here contain high amounts of excess fructose and intake should be avoided if you malabsorb fructose.  Avoid large servings (> 3 small feijoas, 150gm) which also contain high amounts of the Oligos -fructans. Feijoas should be avoided by people with IBS if they malabsorb fructose.  Large quantities of feijoas should be avoided by all individuals with IBS.”

Additional information from:

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Why are the Holidays So Hazardous to Our Health?

john young m.d. fodmap lifeIt’s a sad statistical fact: The holidays, from Christmas to New Year’s, are a treacherous time when it comes to our health.

“There’s a spike in heart attacks and other cardiac issues,” says Dr. John Young, a physician specializing in the treatment of chronic illnesses through biochemical, physiological and nutraceutical technologies, and the author of “Beyond Treatment: Discover how to build a cellular foundation to achieve optimal health,”

“The incidence of pneumonia cases spikes – in both cold and warm climates. And deaths from natural causes spike. In fact, more people die of natural causes on Christmas Day than any other day of the year!”

While those numbers are well-documented, the cause(s) are not.

Stress plays a role, particularly if your immune system is weakened,” Dr. Young says. “If you look at how most of us eat from Halloween through New Year’s, it’s easy to see how the immune system takes a beating and otherwise healthy people become more susceptible to illness during the holidays.”

It’s basic biochemistry, he says.

“We eat a lot more refined sugar, for instance, which is a carbohydrate that’s been stripped of all the vitamins, minerals and proteins that make up a complete carbohydrate,” he says. “Our bodies can’t use that, so the cells in our digestive organs work overtime, burning up a lot of energy, vitamins and minerals to digest it, and they get nothing back. So, eventually, they grow weak.”

So – can we have a little sugar, and good health, too? Dr. Young says we can.

“The occasional slice of pumpkin pie is fine as long as you’re also feeding your cells with the nutrients they need – the minerals, vitamins, good quality protein, amino acids, essential fatty acids – to stay healthy.”  He offers these tips for staying healthy through the holidays and throughout the year.

Get your vitamin D!

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin, and one of our best sources for it is sunshine. Unfortunately, many people work indoors all day, so they get little sun exposure. When they do go outside, they wear long sleeves and sunblock to protect against skin cancer. And, of course, in the wintertime, people in cold climes tend to stay inside. As a result, many of us are vitamin D deficient, and should be taking supplements.

“Vitamin D is crucial to many physiological systems, including our immune defenses,” Dr. Young says. “It helps fight bacterial and viral infections, including the flu. It supports our cardiovascular system; optimal vitamin D levels can reduce hypertension, heart attacks and stroke.

“If I feel I’m coming down with a cold, I’ll take 40,000 units of vitamin D at bedtime,” he says. “The next morning, I usually feel like a new person.”

Eat your protein – 1 gram for every 2.2 pounds of body weight daily

In this country, we think a healthy diet means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. We’ve forgotten protein, Dr. Young says.

“Our immune system is made up of proteins – our bones are 40 percent protein,” he says. “We need protein.”

When calculating your protein intake, consider: an egg has about 8 grams, and 8 ounces of fish, chicken, beef or pork have about 30 grams.

Dr. Young does not give any of his patients more than 100 grams of protein a day.

Get a good night’s sleep, exercise, and manage your stress

Rest, exercise and finding effective, healthy ways to cope with stress are simple ways to pamper your cells.

 “One of the many cellular benefits of exercise is that it increases the oxygen in our bloodstream. Every cell in our body requires oxygen, so consider exercise another means of feeding your cells.”

It’s also important to manage stress during the holidays. With unchecked stress, our body releases large amounts of cortisol which, among other things, suppresses the immune system.

“Take time out to meditate, listen to music, or take a walk in the woods,” Dr. Young says. “It feels good – and it’s good for you!”

Written by: Penny Carnathan

About John Young, M.D.

Dr. John Young, (, is a medical doctor with more than 15 years’ experience working in emergency rooms and pediatric burn units. He’s the medical director of Young Foundational Health Center, specializing in treating patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes by addressing the physiological issues and not just the symptoms. 

Review: RW Garcia’s Tortilla Chips

photo: C. Francioli

photo: C. Francioli

I recently tried RW Garcia’s  MixtBag Yellow/Blue corn tortilla chips.  So delicious, crunchy and not oily!  There are many other tortilla chips that can make my stomach upset but these were very mild and easy going on my gut.  RW Garcia’s chips are also all natural, gluten-free, and verified by the Non-GMO Project as meeting or exceeding GMO avoidance standards.

Ingredients:  Stone ground yellow corn, stone ground blue corn, sunflower oil or corn oil, sea salt, water, trace of lime.

My husband had family visiting so I decided to use RW Garcia’s tortilla chips in one of my favorite breakfast recipes.  Try this next time you need to make food for a few hungry people!  For a vegetarian option, just negate the meat.


  • 2 C RW Garcia’s MixtBag Yellow/Blue corn tortilla chips
  • 5 whole eggs, 6 additional egg whites (cage-free)
  • 1 package (about 20 ounces) lean ground turkey meat (grass fed preferable!)rw garcia mixtbag tortilla chips
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder (without onion or garlic)
  • 1 TB garlic oil
  • 1 C monterey jack cheese (Low Fodmap lactose-free cheese for those following a lacto-ovo vegetarian low FODMAP diet – otherwise use monterey jack cheese)
  • 1/2 C diced organic Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 C canned lentils
  • 1 medium organic avocado, diced


  1. Mix paprika and chili powder together, and then fold into turkey meat
  2. Place garlic oil in a pan and cook turkey meat half way through, dicing into little chunks
  3. Spray a glass casserole dish with organic olive oil spray
  4. Gently pour in the tortilla chips, and lay them out as evenly as you can
  5. Take all your eggs and scramble them, then pour eggs over tortilla chips
  6. Sprinkle half of your cheese over the chips
  7. Spread the turkey meat over the cheese
  8. Spread the lentils over the meat
  9. Sprinkle over the rest of your cheese
  10. Sprinkle in the diced tomatoes
  11. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Check the outer edges of the egg mixture and use a fork to ensure the egg has cooked all the way through. The egg should feel firm. Depending on your oven, you might need another 5-10 minutes of baking.
  12. Once done, add your diced tomato on top – serve immediately!

Serves 4-6

Here’s RW Garcia’s website where you can learn more about their other products and where to buy their MixtBag tortilla chips.  My husband tried the Tortatos which he said were awesome (it’s a potato chip and tortilla chip in one) however, this product is not suitable for the Low Fodmap diet.

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GoodBelly Review and Giveaway!

photo: Colleen Francioli

photo: Colleen Francioli

By the banks of the Ganges River, Steve Demos had an epiphany on how he could positively impact the health of people everywhere.  He soon connected with Todd Beckman, a group of pioneering veterans from the natural products industry and a new company “NextFoods” was born, the makers of GoodBelly.

I have tried GoodBelly products before but wanted to give them a good run, especially for FODMAP Life fans.  Below is a bit of education, a review and how you can take part in a giveaway to win some delicious GoodBelly for yourself!  Check back as I will continue to write about GoodBelly in the weeks ahead.

Quick Facts on GoodBelly

  1. Organic drinks
  2. Contains live & active probiotic cultures
  3. Dairy-free, Soy-free and Vegan, with Gluten-free versions as well
  4. Live and active probiotic cultures of Lactobacillus plantarum299v

But First, Your Immune System

Your immune system is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues and organs which defend your body against invasion from harmful bacteria, germs, infections and diseases.  The protein, carbohydrate and fat composition of our foods affect the way in which our digestive tract moves food and the secretions it produces.  70% of our body’s immune system dwells in the digestive tract.  Our immune system is designed in away that it defends the body against foreign invaders including, bacteria, parasites and fungus.  If someone continuously consumes processed foods (refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, white flour, and pasteurized dairy feeds) she or he will experience distress when trying to digest foods.  The other invaders to our immune system, digestive tract and overall health is STRESS and POLLUTION.  That’s why it’s important to seek out probiotics to see which ones work best with your body, to help keep you strong.

Reports on Lactobacillus plantarum299v

GoodBelly’s claims about Lactobacillus plantarum299v interested me, so I did some digging.  On GoodBelly’s website they state that “a probiotic that has over 17 research trials and almost 2 decades of demonstrated safe and effective use behind it.”

So I saw mixed reviews on how well Lactobacillus plantarum299v actually helps with IBS symptoms, but I have seen more positive than negative.  The report Randomized clinical trial: Effect of Lactobacillus plantarum299 v on symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome it was concluded that in “An 8-wk treatment with L. plantarum 299 v did not provide symptomatic relief, particularly of abdominal pain and bloating, in patients fulfilling the Rome II criteria.”  However, in a research report from the Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, it was found that Lactobacillus plantarum299v “is effective in correcting long-term IBS motility defects.”  Also as reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the report Clinical trial: Lactobacillus plantarum299v (DSM 9843) improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome stated that “a 4-wk treatment with L. plantarum299v (DSM 9843) provided effective symptom relief, particularly of abdominal pain and bloating, in IBS patients fulfilling the Rome III criteria.”

GoodBelly Ingredients

I tried the Blueberry Acai and the only questionable ingredients that were up high in the ingredients list (as they pertain to the Low Fodmap diet only) were

GoodBelly Blueberry Acai Ingredients photo: Colleen Francioli

GoodBelly Blueberry Acai Ingredients
photo: Colleen Francioli

ORGANIC OAT FLOUR and PEAR JUICE CONCENTRATE.  The organic oat flour is not gluten-free and we all know pears are on the list of foods to avoid.    The gluten-free GoodBelly quarts (noted by their green caps) are made with gluten-free oat flour. All other GoodBelly products are not certified gluten-free. The gluten-free quarts come in Fermented Coconut Water, Tropical Orange and Carrot Ginger flavors.

GoodBelly-Quarts-Carrot-Gingergoodbelly gluten free productsSo if you try GoodBelly products try the gluten-free versions that are low in FODMAPs.  Also, if anyone has worked their way through the Low Fodmap diet and has completed the elimination phase (working with one food group at a time, one food at a time) and they know that neither pears or oat flour will have an adverse affect on them, then regular GoodBelly products might work just fine.  At this time, they do for me.


To take part in our first GoodBelly giveaway, head over to our Facebook page on  October 2nd at 11a.m. EST. You will see a post regarding the giveaway -just follow the directions to win! One winner (from the U.S. only) will be randomly selected to win three vouchers for FREE GoodBelly products.  GOOD LUCK!

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Steve Demos, NextFoods- GoodBelly

Steve Demos, NextFoods- GoodBelly

Carageenan and the Low Fodmap Diet

Cornucopia Institute

Cornucopia Institute

For anyone who has a digestive issue like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), spastic colon, inflammatory bowel disease, bloating, colitis, or chronic diarrhea, there’s more and more research that cites how carrageenan can cause gas and bloating and should be avoided.  Let’s first talk about what carrageenan is.

Carrageenan is a product derived from certain types of red algae, which is a seaweed found on the coasts of North America and Europe.  Several food manufacturers use this indigestible polysaccharide to keep ingredients in beverages from separating or its used for gelling, thickening, and its stabilizing properties. Carrageenan can be found in yogurt, chocolate, nutritional shakes, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, soymilk, ice cream and other products.  Seaweed seems harmless right? Not to people who’ve had a history of gas and bloating or other digestive issues.

All in all, carrageenan has been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation (gas, bloating) as well as higher rates of colon cancer in laboratory animals.  Several animal studies suggest carrageenan as “potentially carcinogenic and that is also may promote the formation of inflammatory bowel disease, like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.”  Chris Kresser L. Ac

carrageenan fodmap life sietCharlotte Vallaeys, director of farm and food policy at the Cornucopia Institute says: “What’s striking to me is that carrageenan has no nutritional value.”  On the website for the Cornucopia Institute they mention how “many individuals experience significant improvements in their gastrointestinal health after cutting carrageenan out of their diet.”

According to Prevention Magazine, although “derived from a natural source, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to that your body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella.”

In a research article Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments by Joanne Tobacman, MD, she said the data she reviewed had demonstrated that “exposure to undegraded  as well as to degraded(poligeenan) carrageenan was associated with the occurrence of intestinal ulcerations and neoplasms,” and “Because of the acknowledged carcinogenic properties of degraded carrageenan in animal models and the cancer-promoting effects of undegraded carrageenan in experimental models, the widespread use of carrageenan in the Western diet should be reconsidered.”


Some of the articles I’ve researched stated that when certain studies tried to prove why/how carrageenan is potentially harmful, the amounts of carrageenan being used were at much higher doses than what a human would ingest or be exposed to from say, a cup of almond milk.  However we need to keep a few things in perspective: 1) the cleaner the foods {no additives, nothing packaged or processed} that we eat (digestive problems or not), the better 2) If anything is questionable, why even take the risk? 3) We don’t really to buy products that have carrageenan in them because carrageenan does not do anything to improve our health 4) Making our own products at home can be much safer and healthier!

Shopping Guide to Avoiding Organic Foods with Carrageenan

Here is an excellent list provided by the Cornucopia Institute which provides both products that have carrageenan and those that do not.  Pay attention to the rest of the ingredients as well, as oftentimes you’ll find inulin, xanthan gum and other gums that can also cause distress in people with digestive issues.

5 Garlic Oils to Buy – Low Fodmap Diet

scott's garlic oil fodmap life-AVOID GARLIC & ONIONS

If you’ve been trying out the Low Fodmap diet you know that garlic and onions are a no-no as they can cause unwanted IBS symptoms.  They are HIGH in FODMAPs – fructans being the issue.  You can sauté garlic or onions in oil for a few minutes in a pan by themselves, but you do need to remove the garlic or onion before you continue cooking.  Since everyone who experiences digestive issues differently, this method works for some and not others.

One of the easier methods to getting the taste of garlic is to use garlic-infused oil.  It’s delicious and much easier than cutting up garlic and getting the smell all over your fingers – however, I will be truthful here, I grew up with most dishes being full of garlic!  My Mother Rita especially loved when we’d go to a restaurant called Emilio’s in Commack New York and there’d be whole cloves of garlic in her linguini with clam sauce…the memories are the best.

So in order to make your shopping experience easier, I’ve scouted out a few brands for you below.  You can buy them online today or go to your nearest natural foods store.


Scott’s Garlic Oil – this is the one I tried and I loved it.  You can buy it online for $8.95, or try Whole Foods where I bought it.

Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Oil BUY – $9.95

WILLIAMS-SONOMA Garlic Olio Santo Extra Virgin Olive Oil BUY $19.95

Grand’aroma Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 8.5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3) (gets GREAT reviews) BUY $18.33

DEAN & DELUCA Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil BUY $12.00

Low Fodmap Chia Seed Pudding!

FODMAP Life Chia Seed Pudding

This pudding was SO delicious!  Very easy to make, and another husband-approved dish here at the Francioli household.  Before I give you the recipe, I want to teach you about the benefits of chia seeds.  My hope is that you’ll make them a part of your regular diet.  After all, food is medicine!

  • Chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and they don’t have to be ground up (like flax seeds) in order to receive their nutrients.
  • Chia seeds are HIGH in fiber – depending on your IBS symptoms and if fiber has been nice to you in the past, and you are constipated often, I’d highly recommend them to help with gut motility.
  • Chia seeds also contain calcium (read: Benefits of Calcium), phosphorus (is frequently used in the homoeopathic treatment of irritable bowel syndrome), magnesium (helps relieve constipation, relaxes the nervous system, loosens tight muscles), manganese (helps with collagen production, blood sugar control, prevents free radical damage), copper (helps in the absorption of iron from the intestinal tract and in the release from its primary storage sites like the liver; anti-inflammatory for arthritis), iron (people with gastrointestinal diseases such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and crohns are usually deficient in iron), molybdenum (act as a catalyst for enzymes and to help facilitate the breakdown of certain amino acids in the body), niacin, and zinc.
photo (1)

After one hour in the refrigerator – needed more stirring!

Low Fodmap Chia Seed Pudding by FODMAP Life


  • In a blender, mix together the almond milk, maple syrup, extract and sea salt.
  • Put your chia seeds into a bowl and then add the ingredients from the blender.  Use an electric hand mixer on low or preferably a whisk to blend everything together.
  • Store in the refrigerator covered, then stir once every hour to ensure the chia seeds don’t lump up together, and that they are evenly distributed.
  • Stir one more time after you’ve removed the bowl from the refrigerator after about three hours.
  • Top with cinnamon, light coconut shreds, slivered almonds or sliced banana.  Enjoy!

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Low Fodmap Greek Style Salmon

FODMAP Life - Low Fodmap Greek Style Salmon

FODMAP Life – Low Fodmap Greek Style Salmon

Last night I wanted something light and easy and very nutrient dense.  So, I paired a few of my favorite foods together and voilà!  Low Fodmap Greek Style Salmon.  This is man-approved as my husband really liked it, so go ahead and make it for the guy you love!  I’ll definitely make it for my Brother next time he visits.

INGREDIENTS (Serving for 2)

  • 2 fresh (organic if possible) Roma tomatoes, sliced medium thickness
  • 1 – 2 ounces of light greek style feta cheese crumbled (there’s about 75 cal, 6 g fat/4.2 saturated, 1.2 carb, 4 g of high quality protein per ounce in regular feta)
  • 2 pieces of wild caught Alaskan salmon (a filet serving is 2 to 3 ounces; salmon steak is usually between 4 and 6 ounces)
  • 1 C of fresh organic spinach, shredded (I like to buy it by the bunch)
  • Organic oregano
  • Organic black pepper
  • 1 TB organic capers
  • organic olive oil spray


Preheat over to 350 degrees F

  1. Use a glass casserole dish and spray lightly with organic olive oil spray
  2. Place salmon side to side in the casserole dish
  3. Sprinkle black pepper and oregano over the fish
  4. Lay the tomatoes on, completely covering the fish
  5. Top with shredded spinach leaves
  6. Sprinkle more black pepper and oregano
  7. Sprinkle on capers
  8. Sprinkle crumbled greek style feta cheese on top
  9. Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  10. Serve with a salad, summer squash or potatoes.


Spinachvitamin K, vitamin A,vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper.  It’s also a great source of dietary fiber,vitamin B1, phosphorus, zinc, protein, and choline.

Salmon -high in Omega3; vitamin D, selenium, vitamin B12 -also there’s lower risk of contamination from wild-caught Alaskan salmon (mercury, pesticides, and persistent organic pollutants (POPS)).

Tomatoes – provide an excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene; a good amount of manganese; and a good amount of vitamin E.  Phytonutrients: Flavonones, Flavonols, Hydroxycinnamic acids, Carotenoids, Glycosides, Fatty acid derivatives.

Feta cheese – One oz. of feta provides 14 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for calcium, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. It has vitamin B12, phosphorus, vitamin B6, selenium and zinc.

Enjoy!  Try out this recipe and leave a comment below to show us how you did.



The FODMAP Content of Coconut Water

As with any product that suddenly becomes popular, coconut water has received both positive and negative press.  For me, coconut water has been a great way to rehydrate after a workout, a healing massage or after hours in the sun.  I give it a big thumbs up, and for those following the Low Fodmap Diet, you CAN drink coconut water but you have to be wary of the serving size.


  • Coconut water has less sugar than fruit juices
  • It contains minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium
  • It contains easily digested carbohydrates (sugar and electrolytes)
  • It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink.


According to testing (May 2014) by the Translational Nutrition research group of Monash University, a standard serving size of 250 ml (8.45 fluid oz), is high in FODMAPs.  This serving size contains high amounts of the Polyol- sorbitol and moderate amounts of the Oligos-fructans.  It is recommended that you AVOID drinking this much.  A serving size with LOW FODMAPs is 100 ml (3.4 fluid oz) is recommended as it is low in oligosaccharides, excess fructose, polyols and lactose.

As you can see by the by the containers in the photo above, the serving sizes are too big.  There are smaller bottles/containers of coconut water available at your local supermarket, but just be sure to measure out 3.4 fluid oz. in order to avoid having any symptoms.  I like to add water with my coconut water to add a bit more hydration and trick myself into feeling I’m drinking more coconut water!


“It’s important to read the label for added sugars,” says Stacy Rothschild, MPH, RD, dietitian and founder of New Leaf Nutrition in Paramus, New Jersey. “Choose the unflavored, natural varieties; otherwise, you might be consuming all that added sugar that you would get from fruit juice or a soda.”

Barbara Mendez, RPh, MS, a NYC-based nutritionist and registered pharmacist says: “Fresh coconut water has not been pasteurized, therefore it contains enzymes that help to detoxify and repair the body,” she explains. Most of what you’ll find in stores is pasteurized or from concentrate. Healthy Or Hype? The Skinny On Coconut Water


Other resources: WebMD // Huffington Post UK


More Answers – the Low Fodmap Diet

I have been pairing up with EA Stewart, Registered Dietician and nutritionist  here in San Diego, California where we both live.  She specializes in wellness nutrition, weight management, FODMAPs diets for IBS, and celiac disease.

We’ve completed two videos so far and have a few more coming.  If you have any questions about the Low Fodmap Diet, leave a comment below so we can answer it on a future episode and be sure to subscribe to my blog to receive video updates!

Are You Stressed When You Eat?


It’s no longer just the high calorie foods that could be contributing to people’s weight gain, it could be stress itself that is throwing off our metabolism and causing those unnecessary pounds. In new study from The Ohio State University (OSU), researchers found that women who experienced stress in the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than non-stressed women in the time after eating a high-fat meal— which adds up to the equivalent of 11 pounds gained annually.

According to Dr. Perlman:

  • Everyone knows that we tend to reach for junk food to comfort ourselves when we feel stressed. Here’s another reason not to do that.
  • Not only is the food not healthy for you, but the stress affects your body in such a away that you burn less calories when you are stressed.
  • In essence, eating unhealthfully when stressed is a double whammy when it comes to weight gain.
  • As an alternative to eating, try relieving your stress by going to the gym or taking a walk to help ease your mind.

Dr. Perlman is a doctor for the stress reducing app meQuilibrium, he completed a residency in Preventive Medicine and is a recognized leader in the field of Integrative Medicine and respected researcher and educator in the field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and wellness.

According to Me and the rest of the Digestive Disorder Community

Studies have shown that stress and anxiety tend to co-exist with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  In a WebMD article, Edward Blanchard, PhD, professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany said the “most common mental ailment suffered by people with IBS is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).”  I know that when I am stressed my IBS gets worse – and I am sure if you get IBS and are reading this you can relate.  So if you do not want to gain extra pounds or experience additional pain and suffering from IBS, what can you do?  MEDITATE. According to a study published inThe American Journal of Gastroenterology, practicing mindfulness meditation over an 8-week period reduces the severity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms in women.

Here are some of my tips for peaceful MEDITATION:

Colleen’s Meditation for Belly Peace

  1. Sit yourself in a quiet place where you will be free of interruption.
  2. Inhale a nice long deep breath, and then exhale nice and slow.  Do this three times.
  3. Next, keep this slow and controlled breathing going and start to relax from the top of your head all the way down to your toes.  Relax every single muscle.  Be aware if the muscles in your face, neck, and chest are tense -release the tenseness.
  4. Be aware of any pain you feel in your gut – send peace to the areas of your body that are giving you pain.  Peace could be visualizing sending flowers or a soft yellow light to your gut, or imagining no distention, bloating or inflammation. Surround your gut with lightness and softness.
  5. Now imagine how you want the rest of your day to unfold, pain-free, symptom-free and positively charged.
  6. Imagine taking care of yourself, drinking enough water, getting in exercise, taking your supplements, getting to bed early.
  7. Imagine taking care of your mind – no negative talk, only positive affirmations, and a positive outlook on your body, your feelings, and your life.
  8. Think about five things or people you are grateful for – think about the feelings these people or things bring into your life.  Ask the universe (or your god – whatever or whomever you believe in) to bring you these wonderful experiences and feelings over and over again.  Say why you are grateful for each of the five things.
  9. Once you are done practicing gratefulness, think about three things you will do today to feel good.
  10. Now count slowly to the number thirty and gently open your eyes and smile.
* Try and meditate for at least 20 minutes per day.  You can set an alarm on your phone (choose a soft ring) to alert you once twenty minutes is up.  Stay tuned for the video version of this meditation.
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That's me getting blessed by a holy man in Thailand in June.

That’s me getting blessed by a holy man in Thailand in June.

Aaron’s Story – Coping with Crohn’s Disease

Here is a Aaron Blocker in the hospital on Fe. 9th: "At the hospital. Crohn's flaring and possible appendicitis. Just living the #IBD life that we all know so well."

Here is a Aaron Blocker in the hospital on Feb. 9th: “At the hospital. Crohn’s flaring and possible appendicitis. Just living the #IBD life that we all know so well.”

FODMAP Life is about bringing people together, supporting one another and educating all about the FODMAP Diet, what it’s like for anyone to have digestive disorders and how they cope through various means.  If you would like to submit your story, please submit at least 200 words, plus a short bio and a photo of yourself to: itsafodmaplife {at} gmail {dot} com.

Coping with Crohn’s Disease

In September 2009 I had just started college and I was in between classes when I received a call from my grandmother telling me the doctor had called and had the results from some tests I had run on me to see why I was so sick, I had been waiting almost 3 weeks for any kind of news on what was going on. My grandma told me that the doctor had confirmed what she expected; I had Crohn’s Disease. I really did not know much about it and only months before had I ever even heard of the word Crohn’s Disease, so when I was diagnosed it was kind of a shock but it was also a relief to know why I was so sick. It has been almost 5 years since my diagnosis and I have been hospitalized 12 times, developed osteoporosis and broke multiple bones, Developed OsteoNecrosis of the hips and had both of my hips totally replaced almost 2 years ago when I was 20 years old and live in the doctor’s office. Going through all of that at such a young age has had a huge impact on my life, and on my friends and families lives.

I have had to learn how to cope with all of it and not let it get me down and depressed so that I can still lead a very normal life. Right after I was diagnosed I was desperate to meet people who had the same illness as me, so of course I started looking online and for any resources that might connect me with similar people. I found very few resources at the time and only came across a few little message boards and things. So I decided to start a facebook page where people could like the page and discuss what was going on and it would give me an opportunity to meet people as well. So I started the page named Support Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. This page has been the biggest coping mechanism for me! I get to meet people and discuss our diseases and the similarities, get tips on how to handle things and also give tips. It has opened many doors for me to go speak at conferences and do posts for websites such as this one and even driven me to continue my college education to pursue a degree in immunology to research Crohn’s Disease. My page now has over 15,000 likes and I am looking to turn it into a non-profit foundation to help people who have this disease.

I also have a really good support system that helps me deal with this illness. I have an amazing wife who is the most supportive person I could have in my life and looks past my disease to be with me and take care of me.

I also have some really great friends and family members that come stay with me every time I am hospitalized and keep up with how I am doing and help me in any way possible. I am very grateful for everyone in my life and the support I get, because I know some people are not so lucky when it comes to this.

I currently do not utilize the Low Fodmap Diet but I actually made a food diary of what foods I can and cannot eat and I use that as my reference for eating and managing my symptoms. I do not eat anything that has a lot of sugar in it such as candy or sweets, I have cut all of that out of my diet. I do not eat any fried foods, I bake or grill all of my  meats such as chicken or steak etc. I stay away from dairy, I use almond milk or lactose free milk when I need to use any milk products, I also do not eat eggs. Keeping to a pretty basic set of rules like this helps me maintain a good balance and helps with my disease symptoms. I am currently looking into transitioning into the Low Fodmap Diet to see how that will help me better my dieting and issues that come along with eating the wrong foods.

If I was never diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease I would not be where I am today, it turned my life upside down and has beaten me down sometimes, but I have always and will continue to get back up and continue pursuing my dreams and trying to raise awareness for this disease and to try and make a difference for people who also suffer from this condition. it takes guts facebookIf you would like to check out my page or blog you can find me at: Aaron Blocker   Please leave comments or questions below for Aaron! And Don’t forget to… Subscribe to the Fodmap Life newsletter: And subscribe to our Youtube page:

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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Happy 4th of July! Take it Easy Today

photo credit:

photo credit:

Happy Friday!  It’s my favorite day of the year!

If you’re American and celebrating America’s Birthday, July 4th weekend, please take it easy with food and don’t lose patience!  You might be going to a family or friend’s party, possibly out to eat, hanging out at a BBQ – and we all know that most of the time these types of gatherings involve foods that can irritate and cause pain or discomfort – and no one wants to look like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon!

Choose carefully and wisely and if possible, bring your own food!  If you can’t bring your own food, keep my grocery list handy on your smartphone.  Here are some tips!

  • Many sausages are made with onions and garlic – stick to chicken, turkey or fish which are also lean!
  • Stick to mustard, mayonnaise, and hot sauce for condiments
  • Be careful of how much fat you consume as too much fat can disrupt your gut motility (preventing normal bowel movements)
  • If you absolutely HAVE to drink, stick to clear alcohol like vodka or gin (and please only have one drink ladies, and two max for men)
  • If you are gluten-free, many store-made potato salads contain wheat flour (I figured this out while at a BBQ recently!)
  • Watermelon, popular at BBQs, is high in FODMAPs (I know, darn!)
  • Opt for low Fodmap fruits for dessert instead of cakes, cupcakes and other desserts

Have a great time and don’t stress yourself out – but just make the best choices possible.  Whether you are in the elimination phase for the Low Fodmap Diet or you already know which HIGH FODMAPs cause you problems – celebrations or parties are hard for anyone with a digestive disorder.  And eating several different types of foods during one occasion, OR fatty foods, OR alcohol, OR foods that are high in FODMAPs OR foods that have added condiments and sauces – eeeekkk!  I know, it’s hard for us!  Be good to your body this weekend :)



Contest – Torie and Howard® Hard Candy!

While visiting the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA, an event that drew around 100,000 people and rows upon rows of booths with natural product brands, I was lucky enough to meet the founders of Torie & Howard organic hard candy.  WOW these candies were so delicious and I was happy to find that they were low in FODMAPs.  This is excellent for those that are looking for a little sweet kick – but I don’t recommend eating a ton of them – everything in moderation AND sugar is sugar after all.  I love this brand and am excited to host a contest where three U.S. winners will win one tin of each of Torie & Howard’s four flavors!  ENTER THE CONTEST HERE:

Made with: Organic Sugar, Organic Rice Syrup, Non-GMO Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Colored with: Red Cabbage, Purple Carrots.

Made with: Organic Sugar, Organic Rice Syrup, Non-GMO Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Colored with: Red Cabbage, Purple Carrots.

Aside from loving the delicious flavors of d’anjou pear & cinnamon, pomegranate & nectarine, blood orange & honey, pink grapefruit & tupelo honey, I also enjoyed the Torie & Howard story.  It’s always moving to meet entrepreneurs that started a business based off of personal circumstance. Both Torie & Howard experienced a health related event that had a significant impact on their lives. As shared on their website: For Howard, losing over a hundred pounds led to a renewed focus on eating as healthy and nutritionally conscious as possible. On his new lifestyle regimen, it became paramount to Howard that he optimize his consumption by eating only the most delicious and healthful foods and ensuring that every single calorie consumed had earned its pleasure quotient. For Torie, it was the onset of severe food allergies that forced her to make serious changes in her life and in her diet. These new restrictions made finding satisfying snacks all the more difficult, and all the more important.


With a new dedication to nutrition in their lives and the relative lack of healthy, indulgent snacks on the market, it became apparent that the time was right to fulfill their dream of starting their own snack food company. And so Torie & Howard was born, out of a mutual love of delicious & all natural foods that soothe the soul and nourish the body.

Some Quick Facts:

  • Blood Orange & Honey and Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey if you are finished with the Low Fodmap Diet and know which foods to avoid but still need to avoid honey, these flavors do not have any honey. They are sweetened with organic sugar and organic rice syrup. Torie & Howard uses an all natural and organic compliant honey flavoring.
  • Torie & Howard can be found in many  stores throughout US and Canada, as well as internationally. Big retailers include Barnes & Noble Cafes, Whole Foods, and many fine food grocers, natural food stores, duty free shops, online retailers,, Dean & Deluca, candy shoppes and emporiums in the U.S and around the world, airport, coffee shops, and with  many sellers on – just to name a few. Torie & Howard are always finding new shops to carry their products. They keep a Pinterest board of some of their retailers as they find them, and a Twitter list, too. As Torie & Howard’s Kami Bacon, Social Media Marketing Manager said: “It’s so hard to keep up as our candy is spreading out across the globe as the new hard candy classic in healthy snacking!”

**Torie & Howard products have not been analyzed for FODMAPs, however they are low in FODMAPs.


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