Low-FODMAP Bolognese Sauce for Your Sweetie!

If you’re staying in this Valentine’s Day you may be wondering what you’re going to make for your sweetie!  The good news is there are plenty of low-FODMAP options to enjoy which will also make the cut for anyone not following the diet.

While checking out my friends and colleagues Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley over at http://www.everythinglowfodmap.com  I looked through a couple recipes and found some that I thought you might enjoy making and eating this Valentine’s Day.  Anyone for Bolognese Sauce and gluten-free pasta?  Mmm, yes please!  You can also check out the recipe I shared with them for my Lobster Mac N’ Cheese.

On a side note, I have some very exciting news to share that will help make your low-FODMAP lives a bit easier!  Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to receive the news within the next two weeks!Bolognese-Sauce low-fodmap

This bolognese sauce recipe is easy to make and will pair well with Lambrusco (sparkling wine), which is after all the wine of the Bolognese region. Try these suggestions for Lambrusco here. Other beautiful reds that pair nicely are Barolos and Barbarescos.

Before you dive into the recipe I promised other recipes from Barbara and Kathleen’s website, so here they are!

Try this Arugula Salad with Melon and Basic Salad Dressing before the bolognese and for dessert, love up on these Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Bolognese Sauce

Serves 8Bolognese Sauce

Serve this rich, indulgent sauce over your favorite gluten-free pasta or cooked spaghetti squash. It’s perfect for a warming weekday meal or an elegant dinner party.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled, slightly smashed *please read notes below!
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots
1 pound ground meatball mix (beef, pork, and veal)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon LFM Tomato Paste
1 one-inch x three-inch Parmesan cheese rind
1/2 cup LFM Whipped Cream

*Onions and garlic are soluble in water but not in oil. You can saute onions and or garlic in a dish for a few moments in the oil as long as you remove and discard the pieces, leaving only the oil and/or butter!

Heat oil and butter over medium-low heat in a large stockpot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, until garlic is softened and brown at edges. Remove and discard onion and garlic, leaving oil and butter. Add carrots to oil and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meat and cook, stirring often to break up into bits, for about 10–15 minutes or until meat is fully browned. Add wine and simmer uncovered 10 minutes.Add salt, pepper, nutmeg,  tomatoes, Tomato Paste, and rind, and simmer uncovered 11/2–2 hours more, stirring occasionally. Remove rind, fold in Whipped Cream, and serve.

Source: The Everything® Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet

I hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day and be sure to check back for more recipes!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

Posted in Holidays, Low FODMAP, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Touch Down! Your Low-FODMAP Super Bowl Guide

It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday! The amount of high-FODMAP foods may overwhelm you no matter where you go tomorrow. Just remember it’s ONE DAY of your life and you do have the will power to EAT RIGHT. Eat slowly and be mindful of how much you eat. Overloading the gut with a lot of food can trigger IBS and who wants that for Monday when you go back to the grind? To be on the safe side, you can bring your own low-FODMAP snacks and gluten-free buns or enjoy these foods at the party (make sure they are not made with high-FODMAPs):

low fodmap super bowl

  • Grilled plain chicken wings (Costco sells bags of frozen plain chicken wings)
  • Tacos (without beans, salsa, guacamole. *Know that hot sauce can irritate the gut)
  • Corn tortilla chips
  • Gluten-free crackers
  • Popcorn with butter or salt (1 cup)
  • Eggplant dip (2 tablespoons)
  • Low-FODMAP veggies or fruits
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup (U.S., 1 sachet, AUS, 2 sachets)
  • Burger on a gluten-free bun with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, mayo
  • Cheese – brie, camembert, cheddar, colby, feta, havarti, mozzarella, pecorino
  • Gluten-free french fries, potato wedges or potato skins with cheese (just know these can be a little heavy with oil). French fries do not need to be gluten-free (unless you have a gluten sensitivity) if they are made without other foods fried in batter made from wheat. Gluten-free frozen brands are great to bring along to a party.
  • Beer – 1 can or 375ml
  • Dig into meatballs or sausage as long as you know they’ve not been made with high-FODMAPs
  • Gluten-free cheese pizza with a sauce that doesn’t include garlic or onions
  • Spinach dip made with lactose-free sour cream and lactose-free cream cheese (no onions or garlic)

Reference my grocery list for all foods and servings: http://fodmaplife.com/fodmap-grocery-list/

And remember – slip-ups happen so don’t beat yourself up if you eat a small amount of high-FODMAPs.  If you have too many high-FODMAPs you’ll need to start the diet over again.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli


Posted in FODMAP Diet, Holidays, IBS, Low FODMAP, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On A Quest for Chewing Gum, Low in FODMAPs!

If you like gum, this post is for you.  If you like to blow and pop bubbles with your gum, sadly you’ll need to leave that life behind because the type of gum I am going to share with you doesn’t have those magical powers, but it is still gum.  Real gum.  Do you know what that means?

Before I get into this post I want to stress that the act of chewing gum can cause you to swallow more air which can create gas.  However knowing my readers and social media followers really well, many of you still want gum and ask me about it often. I’ve found something for you and I actually like it too.

First a little about you.  You need to chew a little gum here and there.  Maybe to use after you eat when you can’t get to the sink to brush your teeth, maybe before meeting someone new, maybe to stave off a craving (which doesn’t actually work, it can make cravings worse) or maybe unfortunately because you are stressed (which is the worst time to chew gum).

What’s In Your Chewing Gum?  Why Should You Care?

Now a little about the gum you’re most likely chewing and have been chomping on for years and years.  Here is a list of the most common and potentially dangerous ingredients found in most chewing gums today:

  • Aspartame – it is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in gum, some foods and beverages.  It’s much sweeter than sugar (only a little is needed) and cheaper as well which is probably why it’s used.  There is still no conclusive evidence over aspartame’s possible long-term negative effects, however, it’s artificial and the fact that it does cause controversy might be reason enough to avoid it, don’t you think?
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) – is a toluene-based ingredient and used as a preservative in gum, food and personal care products.  It is banned in some other countries but it’s still used here in the U.S. and has been linked to organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).  The European Food Safety Authority has cited it as a “known human immune toxicant or allergen.”  So tell me again why is this stuff still in our food and products?
  • Calcium Casein Peptone (Calcium Phosphate) – this is a highly processed milk derivative used as a texturizer/whitening agent.  It’s mostly used in Trident gum, the same gum my Mother and I chewed for years…
  • Gum was once made with the latex sap (chicle) of the sapodilla tree or other tree saps. Now most gum bases are made of plasticizers, elastomers, fillers and resins, also known as polyvinyl acetate (carpenter’s glue), petroleum-derived paraffin wax, and talc (absorbs moisture, anti-caking agent, bulking agent), a known carcinogen that has been linked to ovarian cancer and tumors in the lungs.
  • Titanium Oxide – “a possible carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence in experimental animals and inadequate evidence from epidemiological studies.”  In chewing gum, it is often used as a whitening agent and may be linked to autoimmune disorders, asthma, and Crohn’s disease.
  • Sugar alcohols (polyols) – yes there are “natural brands” that make “safer” gums with sugar alcohols to make them sugar-free, but if you are prone to IBS and are also following the low-FODMAP diet, you know that sugar alcohols can trigger intestinal discomfort – gas, bloating, or diarrhea if you consume too much.  Wrigley shares the types of sugar alcohols and some other ingredients it uses on their website: “Several types of high-intensity sweeteners are used in Wrigley’s sugar-free products and as flavor enhancers in some other brands. These artificial sweeteners deliver long-lasting, noncaloric taste and do not promote tooth-decay.
    • Acesulfame K
    • Aspartame
    • Maltitol
    • Sucralose
    • Sorbitol
    • Xylitol”

OK so you don’t really eat gum, so what’s the problem anyway?  Consider what Thomas Corriher’s article on Healthwyze.org says: “the assumption is that if the gum is not swallowed, then the ingredients should not be a concern. However, the ingredients in gum travel into the blood stream faster and in higher concentrations than food ingredients, because they absorb directly through the walls of the mouth, and these ingredients do not undergo the normal filtration process of digestion.”

Now for a Natural Gum That’s Low in FODMAPs

Yes a better gum does exist, but again, if you purchase this brand, consider not gnawing through the whole package.  The pieces of gum are smaller than most gums you are used to, so that’s probably better for all of you with IBS!  If you really need to have some gum, have a little bit at a time and chew slow and with your mouth closed.  I am not condoning gum chewing, I am simply giving you an option!

I really like Simply Gum for a couple of reasons.  First it’s made with a natural chicle base  – remember, the original gum base?  The gum base that’s also been around for thousands of years (people have been chewing gum for a long time!).  Also they do not use sugar alcohols. Here are the other ingredients:

  • Organic Raw Cane Sugar
  • Organic Vegetable Glycerin
  • Organic Soy Lecithin
  • Organic Rice Flour
  • Natural Flavor –  like mint, cinnamon, maple, ginger, coffee and fennel licorice – all low-FODMAP flavors!

And what does Simply Gum have to say about gum in general?  “The regular chewing gum you see on grocery store shelves is filled with artificial substances, including some of the same components used in the manufacture of car tires, plastic bottles, and white glue, as well as artificial sweeteners like aspartame….Consumers are kept in the dark about what they are chewing because the FDA allows conventional gum brands to hide up to 80 synthetic ingredients in the catch-all term ‘gum base’ on the label.  Although there are a few gum brands in the US market claiming to be ‘natural,’ all of them include synthetics in their base.  We knew we could do better.”  And better they did!  Try them out and let me know what you think.  Here is where you can find them in stores.  Or you can buy them online here:

*Please note – this product has not been formerly tested and analyzed for its FODMAP content, however the ingredients used are low in FODMAPs which may make it suitable for most to consume.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli









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Low-FODMAP Nuts and Servings

Oh nuts!  This guide went over very well on Facebook so I thought I’d share it here.  Here is my quick reference for nuts on the low-FODMAP diet.  If you are new to the low-FODMAP diet, know that pistachios and cashews are high in FODMAPs, containing high amounts of the Oligos-GOS and fructans, so they should be avoided.


Here is the PDF if you’d like to download it and print! low fodmap servings nuts


Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme
Posted in High FODMAP, IBS, Low FODMAP, Nuts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

You’ve Got IBS. Should You Try Bone Broth?

low fodmap bone brothAnytime I hear of some “new” diet or a food trend touting magical powers I am always a bit skeptical (like most people!).  When I first learned about the low-FODMAP diet I was also on the fence until I kept digging, and digging and digging to find that the diet actually did work, was backed by science and it wasn’t a fad.  Which brings me to bone broth.  How long will the bone broth trend stay around?  Is it so 2015?  Will it not turn into a fad and become something greater….and…will it help when my IBS gets out of control?  If you are wondering the same, keep reading as I have done a little bit of research for you and also included a low-FODMAP bone broth recipe for you to try.

Bone broth isn’t new and it certainly isn’t fancy or hard to make.  You might have heard about bone broth or stock in circles of those following the paleo diet but it really can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys meat.  The nutritional value of bone broth varies depending on the amount or types of bones used, the amount or types of vegetables and also how long the broth is cooked.  As food trends go, I like this one because it’s influenced more people to cook at home and with natural ingredients.  I’ve also heard some people are ditching coffee for bone broth because of the way it makes them feel once they start the day. If you are on the low-FODMAP diet and find that coffee irritates your gut (check my grocery list to see which types of coffee or tea are low in FODMAPs), bone broth could be another satisfying drink for you.

What are people saying about bone broth?  Many say this centuries-old concoction containing collagen, amino acids and minerals has powerful healing properties, so powerful that bone broth can help soothe an angry gut, alleviate join pain, boost immunity, as well as brighten your complexion and give your hair some shine.  As for our guts, its possible that the gelatin in bone broth from the cartilage of different animals can help with leaky gut, gut flora imbalances (dysbiosis), chronic diarrhea, constipation, and some food intolerances.  Again this is all possible, but little scientific evidence exists to prove bone broth is a magical, healing wonder-drink.  One thing is for sure, the ingredients in bone broth are nutritious all on their own and when you have IBS, it’s wise to consider eating as many natural and un-processed foods as possible.  When we eat processed foods our guts and our bodies don’t know what to do with man-made food additives like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup, a high-FODMAP), artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, trans fats and MSG to name just a couple.

I’ve been given two books to review that cover the basics of bone broth, how to live healthier and a plan to follow using bone broth to help detox the body as well as heal the gut.  They are both great books but do not include 100% low-FODMAP foods or low-FODMAP bone broth recipes.  I am not going to include them here on FODMAPLife.com but you can read my reviews on them herelow fodmap bone broth1

So beyond all the things people are claiming bone broth is capable of doing for our health, there’s one thing that is for certain – I’m hearing several people say they feel good after drinking it.  That lead me to create a low-FODMAP bone broth recipe to try at home and guess what.  I really enjoyed it.  I liked the taste and I also felt it calmed my insides during a recent bout with IBS.  I had been slightly distended for a couple days but after drinking the broth, I felt less tension in my abdomen and by evening my stomach was back to it’s normal size.  Yes it’s possible something else could have tamed my insides or it might have just been the fact that I took a moment out to calmly sip the warm broth.  Either way, I have more bone broth leftover and I will be drinking it again soon.

low fodmap bone broth2

Consider trying this recipe to have bone broth on hand for when your gut needs a little boost.  You just need a couple ingredients, an oven and a slow cooker.  If you’re not sure about bone broth, I have found chicken soup to be very helpful when my gut is not doing so hot, and a few studies back up chicken soup’s medicinal value, possibly from the combination of nutrient-dense chicken and vegetables.  You can always make your own low-FODMAP chicken broth, stock or soup at home.  If you try making any other bone broth recipes make sure not to include high-FODMAPs  that are most commonly found in the ingredients like onions, mushrooms, garlic, cider vinegar and honey.

low fodmap bone broth3

Low-FODMAP Bone Broth

Makes 5 cups (40 ounces) or more, depending on how much water you use

  • 1 pound beef bones – preferably from 100% grass fed, pasture raised cattle that are hormone and antibiotic free.  I only used brisket bones but you can use one type of bone or a mixture.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stalk celery*
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place bones on a baking sheet and coat all sides with olive oil.  Place in oven and roast for 1 hour, turning once.
  3. Meanwhile, cut off ends of celery and cut into chunks.  Cut off ends of carrot, peel and cut into chunks.
  4. Remove bones from oven and place in a slow cooker.  Add in carrot, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, turmeric (anti-inflammatory spice), vinegar, carrot and celery.  Stir to combine.  Cover with enough water to cover all ingredients and cook for 8-10 hours.
  5. Remove cover from slow cooker and skim off fat.  Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour bone broth through strainer, throwing away vegetables and bones.  You may also keep meat from bones to make a soup or add to stir fry.
  6. Place broth in canning jars and store in refrigerator for 4-5 days or pour into 1-cup muffin trays and place in freezer until frozen.  Then pop out and place into bags and record date cooked; freeze for up to 2 months.

*A low-FODMAP per person serving for celery is a 1/4 medium stalk.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli


Posted in IBS, IBS Diet, Low FODMAP, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Come with Me to the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego!

I am happy to announce that I’ll be on the San Diego, CA team for the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo (GFAF)!  For someone who loves to spend extra time in the grocery store reading labels and checking out new products, you could just say that expos such as the GFAF really excite me.  I’ll be attending Expo West again this year in March, but until then you can find me at the GFAF looking for some new gluten-free products made with ingredients that are low in FODMAPs.

If you are in the Southern California area and would like to attend the GFAF, you may BUY TICKETS HERE and you will definitely have to send me a message so we can meet.  Don’t forget to share your social media links with me too.  You can also try to WIN tickets via my giveaway on Facebook and Instagram on January 28th!

gfafSo what is the GFAF all about?  The expo is a combination of exhibitor booths and educational classes related to gluten-free and allergen-friendly living.  All foods are gluten-free, plus, each exhibitor booth will be labeled with an allergen card, helping you understand which common allergens may or may not be contained in the products and samples.  Vendors will also include companies with health & beauty items, vitamins & supplements and other services for a gluten-free and allergen-friendly lifestyle.  Several brands will be exhibiting including the big guns in gluten-free foods like Glutino, Udi’s, Enjoy Life, Daiya, Van’s and Earth Balance.

Another great aspect to the show is the coupons and samples given out by vendors – you will be given a reusable bag to carry a few items back home with you (and they do encourage filling your bags up)!  If you are going to grab a sample it’s always nice to talk to the exhibitors and ask questions.  If you can’t stop to say hi, be sure to say thanks!  I’ve found that by taking the time to ask questions I learn more about the food products than can be expressed on the label or packaging.  When I have the time, I also love learning the origin to the brand’s story.

One of my favorite 100% gluten-free restaurants will be there, 2Good2B Bakery and Cafe.  I am lucky to live close by to Diane Benedeck’s establishment in Encinitas, CA and I can’t say enough about her menu.  Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, baked breads or sweet treats you need, she’s got it.  I can’t find many places that are 100% gluten-free (there are only two that I know of in San Diego!).  Diane once suffered from fibromyalgia, pain, a defective thyroid (Hashimotos, like me) and fatigued adrenals but has since turned her life around omitting gluten, corn and soy from her diet.  You can learn more about Diane here and 2Good2B here.

gluten free allergen friendly expo san diego

“How can I win tickets?”  Simply go to my Facebook and Instagram page on January 28th for details and please share this blog post with friends!

Some things to consider if you plan on attending:

  • The San Diego GFAF will be held on February 20-21, from 10am-4pm
  • Parking is $10, cash only
  • You will receive a free reusable bag to hold your goodies from the expo
  • If you need to bring a stroller the expo asks that you only bring a single stroller
  • If you or your guest are in a wheelchair, you may be more comfortable on Sunday since the aisles are less crowded
  • You may purchase items while at the show but know that some vendors take credit cards, and some only cash
  • All classes are included with your entry ticket.  Take a look at the classes offered


Del Mar Fairgrounds-Wyland Center
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014-2216

If you’re planning on going to the expo please contact me and share your social media links with me so we can connect during the show!


Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme
Posted in Allergen Friendly, Events, Gluten-Free, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low-FODMAP Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

low fodmap chocolate peanut butter truffles4It’s been raining in California lately and I love it.  Looking out the window I can’t help but remember rainy lazy days in New York, the rain spattering off the deck and weighing down the leaves in our big back yard on Long Island.  Rain barely falls here in California, and when it does it symbolizes a sort of calm to me – maybe it’s just nostalgia or the sound and smell of rain is just calming in of itself.  Rainy days like these are also a great time to to make desserts if I may say so myself.  What’s your favorite dish to cook on a rainy day?

Today I had a lot of fun making these Low-FODMAP Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels. They are made with just three ingredients – natural peanut butter, dark chocolate and gluten-free pretzels – that’s it!  They don’t take long to make, but better, they are lower in sugar than many other holiday desserts.  They are both salty and sweet and are made with dark chocolate, which is low in FODMAPs and dairy free.  Low-FODMAP diet or not, dark chocolate is always a better choice.  Remember to stick to dark chocolate that is low in fiber, does not contain milk or milk products (most dark chocolate do not by default), inulin, dried fruits or other high-FODMAPs like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), agave or honey.

Here are some more recent holiday recipes I’ve shared:

Empty cookbook for Christmas recipes on wooden tableIngredients

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy is best)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free pretzels
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips



  1. Lay a piece of parchment paper across a cookie sheet or large, flat plate.
  2. Place pretzels in a bowl and crush with a meat tenderizer, other heavy kitchen utensil or crush gently in between palms.
  3. Combine peanut butter and pretzels in bowl.  Remove about a teaspoon at a time of peanut butter pretzel mixture and form into little balls.  Place on cookie sheet or plate in freezer and cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Just before removing peanut butter balls from freezer, melt chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1:30.  Be careful to not overheat.  Chocolate is ready when you can smoothly stir it with a spoon.
  5. Use a tablespoon and dip into melted chocolate.  Roll peanut butter pretzel balls on spoon to coat and place on cookie sheet.  Once done with all balls, drip any extra chocolate over balls and swirl around tops with spoon.  Chill for at least 30 minutes then serve.

low fodmap chocolate peanut butter truffles3



Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Enjoy the holidays!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

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Low-FODMAP Roasted Carrots with Turmeric Maple Mint Dressing

low fodmap roasted carrotsI love simple recipes.  Sometimes I am in the mood (or have the time) for complex recipes, however with Christmas and New Years right around the corner, today is about simple.  My  Low-FODMAP Roasted Carrots with Turmeric Maple Mint Dressing is simple, easy and will be loved by your guests, adults and children.  If you’ve not been to my blog lately, make sure you check out these other low-FODMAP holiday recipe ideas:

And back to these carrots!  You can make them ahead of time and store in an air-tight container in your refrigerator and serve cold or make immediately and serve while still hot.  Either way, your guests will love the tender roasted carrots and the earthy, slightly sweet dressing.

Empty cookbook for Christmas recipes on wooden table


  • 1 pound organic carrots
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

low fodmap carrots with turmeric maple mint dressing


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and peel carrots and trim ends.  Slice carrots lengthwise.  In a medium-sized bowl, toss carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer carrots to a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or a roasting pan, cut side down.  Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
  4. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by adding in 3 tablespoons olive oil, turmeric, lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, mint and 1/8 teaspoon salt and whisk together until combined.
  5. Transfer carrots to a serving platter or dish and toss with dressing.


Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Enjoy the holidays!

Colleen Francioli
Certified Nutritionist Consultant

Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalmecolleen frnacioli



Posted in FODMAP Diet, IBS, Low FODMAP, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Look! It’s the FODMAP Life 2015 Gift Guide

Happy Holidays to you!  If you have IBS, I hope this holiday season is easy on your gut!  I have hand selected a list of gift ideas for those of us with tummy troubles.  Share this list with friends and family or treat yourself!

White And Gold

Here’s my 2015 Gift Guide

For the home:

poo pourri low fodmapPoo-Pourri Secret Santa  Bathroom Spray.

Expecting guests?  Or would you like to keep your bathroom smelling just as nice as the rest of your festive home or office?  Poo~Pourri Secret Santa is a blend of cinnamon, vanilla and citrus natural essential oils.  This spray helps to eliminate bathroom odor before it begins by creating a barrier on the water’s surface. Pou~Pourri calls it a “Spritzmas miracle!” and it is! Buy it here.



For Your Diet:

Uncle Harry’s Wheat-Free Asafoetida Powder is 50% OFF when you order here and use the code “FODMAPLife” at checkout!




LoveBug Probiotics are 20% OFF when you order here and use the code “FODMAP20” at checkout!





Harney & Sons Peppermint Herbal Decaf Tea: I love Harney & Sons teas, it’s definitely my favorite brand.  When I am not feeling my best and trying to soothe distention, constipation or a little stress, I sip this tea.  Buy it here.



Monash FODMAP App: Buy an iTunes gift card for your friend with IBS so they can download the The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App!  This is an essential app to have to reference while out shopping for food, dining out or attending parties or events.  It’s the only source you should trust for determining which foods are high or low in FODMAPs and the app gives you the appropriate servings for each food.

Low Fodmap Serving Platter, Low Fodmap Chopping Board is 20% OFF for my fans!  Use the code  “FODMAPLife” at checkout!

Kasia the creator of this beautiful and ever-so helpful piece says: “I made this board as I have a large list of food intolerances under the string of carbohydrates listed under the acronym Low FODMAP, and know what it’s like to get accidentally FODMAP attacked.” Buy it here

  • Ships worldwide from Auckland, New Zealand
  • ***Will not arrive in time for Christmas (if shipping Internationally outside of NZ), but if you order now you could always print a picture of her piece and put it inside your Christmas card :)

Buy Low-FODMAP Products Online:

Access my list of food products with links of where to buy them online.  My list contains products that have ingredients low in FODMAPs.  They should not trigger symptoms of IBS, just be sure to always pay attention to serving sizes (never eat anything in excess, everything in moderation). All of these products are super helpful to have on hand and make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who is following the low-FODMAP diet.

For Your Book Collection


everything low fodmap diet book bolenThe Everything Guide To The Low-Fodmap Diet: A Healthy Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders by Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley, CPC.  Dr. Barbara Bolen, an IBS specialist, provides advice and tips for developing a personalized and realistic healthy eating plan. And with 150 low-FODMAP and gluten-free recipes, you can reduce digestive distress and feel great while enjoying satisfying and nutritious meals! With this book you can learn how to:

  • Understand food allergies and intolerance
  • Identify high- and low-FODMAP foods
  • Eliminate FODMAP sources from your diet
  • Stock your pantry for success
  • Create your own personalized diet based on your unique needs
  • Re-create favorite recipes using low-FODMAP ingredients

ibs free recipesIBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family (The Flavor without FODMAPs Series) (Volume 2)
 by Lisa Rothstein recipe developer, Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LDN and Karen Warman MS, RD, LDN (learn more about the authors here).  From lunch-box to the briefcase, picnic to dinner party and after-school snacks to dessert, these ladies have shared a few delicious low-FODMAP recipes for the whole family to enjoy.  If you or a family member are following the low-FODMAP there’s no need to make separate meals as everyone can enjoy these recipes together.  In this book you’ll find: Tips and precautions for using the FODMAP approach with children; Menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Snack ideas; Lists of low-FODMAP foods (updated 9/2015); Flavor without FODMAPs in over 110 recipes; Low-FODMAP versions of family favorites.


Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook: 281 Delicious Whole-Grain Recipes
 by Camilla Saulsbury.  This book in its entirety is not recommended for the low-FODMAP diet, however some recipes are low-FODMAP or need slight alterations to make them low-FODMAP.  Here are a few I researched:

  • Bok Choy Chia Salad (low-FODMAP)
  • Avocado, Orange and Millet Salad (low-FODMAP if you swap honey for maple syrup and serve 1/8th serving each from the whole avocado)
  • Zucchini and Millet Salad (low-FODMAP)
  • Kale and Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette (low-FODMAP as long as you use the green tips of the onions)
  • Multi-Seed Bread (low-FODMAP)
  • Quinoa Banana Bread (low-FODMAP)
  • Carrot Bread with Coconut and Cardamom (low-FODMAP)

The Gluten-Free Table: The Lagasse Girls Share Their Favorite Meals by Jilly Lagasse.  If you’re a foodie, you might automatically think of Emeril Lagasse when you hear or see the word BAM!  Well this king of the kitchen has two talented daughters that cooked up a really good book of gluten-free recipes.  This book is not recommended for the low-FODMAP diet but it’s great for any of your friends who are following a gluten-free diet (and it’s great to draw on some inspiration for low-FODMAP recipes if you know what to swap out).

Digestive Health with REAL Food- The CookbookDigestive Health with REAL Food: The Cookbook
 by Aglaee Jacob.  Aglaée Jacob, M.S., R.D., has had a lifelong interest in the connection between food and health, and her personal health struggles led her to deepen her knowledge in the field of digestive health. She offers personalized, holistic nutrition counseling to clients around the world, specializing in digestive health, blood sugar regulation and fertility, and is the author of paleo-dietician.com. Try these recipes:

  • Faux Muffins
  • Speedy Recovery Soup
  • Herb-Infused Oil
  • Creamy Cream-Free Ice Cream

Mind & Body

Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel.  I love this book.  It’s beautifully designed and you get to write in it and get creative with your thinking.  It’s inspiring, empowering and because it’s interactive, it helps relieve stress.  Often times when I consult with clients and help them with diet and nutrition, they tend to have a few things weighing heavy on their minds.  Financial stress is probably the number one complaint, as well a feeling of being stuck in another situation that makes them unhappy (weight or body image, a relationship or job).  Having these issues to contend with doesn’t help when you suffer from IBS, in fact compared to healthy people who do not have IBS, personal issues from stress can make IBS worse.  The book uses four steps that help you to reveal hidden skills and wisdom, teaching non-designers how to create a meaningful life using a proprietary creative process, Deconstruction:Reconstruction™.  So go ahead, design the life you’ve always wanted!  It’s never too late.

Digestive Intelligence: A Holistic View of Your Second Brain by Irina Matveikova.  This book teaches you about your digestive system, how it is at the center of your body’s second brain and how we think and live our emotions via our stomachs.  She talks about the connection between emotions and digestion and the way our digestive system influences our mood and character.

I hope you enjoy these gift ideas and have a very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant

Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli


Posted in Gift Guide, Holidays, Low FODMAP, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low-FODMAP Holiday Side Dish: Creamy Rosemary Polenta

Empty cookbook for Christmas recipes on wooden table

Just because you’re following the low-FODMAP diet, doesn’t mean you can’t make dishes that both you and your guests can enjoy!  Whether you are hosting at your place or going to a potluck, I’ve got a few delicious low-FODMAP holiday recipes for you that everyone else will love too.  This week I shared my recipe for low-FODMAP Chocolate and Pecan Bread Pudding – it’s gluten-free, dairy free and delectable!  See it here.  And try this low-FODMAP Lemon Olive Oil Cake!

Need a hearty side dish?  You’ll love my low-FODMAP Creamy Rosemary Polenta.  It’s great paired with poultry, fish or vegetarian dishes.  I love the the aroma of rosemary along with the truffle salt and the creaminess of the polenta and Parmesan cheese.  Mmm-mm! Add more cheese if you desire!

Low-FODMAP Creamy Rosemary Polenta

Serves 12


  • 2 ¾ cups low-FODMAP chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups lactose-free milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon truffle salt
  • 1 1/2 cups non-GMO yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper

low fodmap rosemary polenta copy

  1. Place chicken broth, water, milk, rosemary and salt into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in cornmeal, stirring often to prevent lumps, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until well combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a small casserole dish, about 2-quarts. Using a spatula, remove polenta from saucepan and add to casserole dish, spreading evenly in the dish. Sprinkle top with freshly ground black pepper, as much as desired.
  3. Bake until polenta is bubbling and slightly brown on top and along edges; about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper if desired.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant


Posted in Holidays, Lactose-Free, Low FODMAP, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Low-FODMAP Lemon Olive Oil Cake and Book Giveaway!


Oh yes, she’s a beauty….low fodmap lemon olive oil cake 1

Gorgeous in every way and so delightful and slightly sweet…

low fodmap lemon olive oil cake 3

This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is beautiful at every angle!

low fodmap lemon olive oil cake 2

Photos: Colleen Francioli, FODMAPLife.com

The recipe for this lovely Lemon Olive Oil Cake is from the book, IBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family (The Flavor without FODMAPs Series) (Volume 2) by Lisa Rothstein recipe developer, Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LDN and Karen Warman MS, RD, LDN (learn more about the authors here).  From lunch-box to the briefcase, picnic to dinner party and after-school snacks to dessert, these ladies have shared a few delicious low-FODMAP recipes for the whole family to enjoy.  If you or a family member are following the low-FODMAP there’s no need to make separate meals as everyone can enjoy these recipes together. 

In this book you’ll find: Tips and precautions for using the FODMAP approach with children; Menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Snack ideas; Lists of low-FODMAP foods (updated 9/2015); Flavor without FODMAPs in over 110 recipes; Low-FODMAP versions of family favorites.

A couple of my favorite recipes from IBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family  include:

  • Quinoa Falafel with Chick Peas
  • Thai Sweet and Salty Pork in Lettuce Wraps
  • Beef Fajitas
  • Mac N’ Cheese with Hidden Squash
  • Savory Sausage and Kale Bread Pudding
  • Cranberry Scones with Orange Glaze
  • Chocolate Fruit and Cookie Dip
  • Chocolate Banana Microwave Mug Cake
  • Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Smoothie

And just in time for the holiday season, the authors and I are holding an Instagram giveaway for this super-helpful book!

low fodmap book giveawayAll you need to do is:

  1. Snap a photo of some culinary inspiration – prepping vegetables or other ingredients, a dish you made, your kitchen, kitchen tools, a vegetable or fruit garden, your favorite chef, your favorite cookbooks – get creative!
  2. Tag @FODMAPLife and use the hashtags #bookgiveaway #lowfodmap  That’s it!

U.S. residents only please, thank you!  Four winners will be chosen, good luck!

Enjoy this recipe! It almost reminds me of the lemon loaf I once had long ago at Starbucks. It’s great for a holiday dessert or have it in the morning with low-FODMAP tea!  Top it with berries or more lemon zest.  Also you can buy pre-toasted/roasted almonds, but I enjoyed toasting my own at home.  Just spread a ½ cup of unsalted raw almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350°F, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 12 – 15 minutes.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe


  • ½ cup whole toasted almonds
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • 1 cup Low-FODMAP all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup lactose-free yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Lemon Glaze:

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray or oil. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper and spray the paper.
  2. Pulse toasted almonds and 1/2 cup sugar together in a food processor in short 5-10 second bursts to grind nuts until they resemble coarse flour.  Add flour, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and zest and pulse to combine.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer.  Beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar until mixture is lemon colored, about 2 minutes.  With beater on low, drizzle in olive oil until incorporated, then mix in yogurt and almond extract.  Slowly drizzle in lemon juice.  Add flour and almond mixture and beat for one minute on medium speed.
  4. Pour batter into cake pan and bake in the middle of the oven until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes.  Cool cake in pan.  Turn cake out onto serving platter and peel off parchment.
  5. Stir glaze ingredients together in a small bowl to make a thin, pourable glaze.  Drizzle glaze over cake, letting it run over the sides.  Serve with berries.

Servings: 10

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Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant
Aside | Posted on by | 5 Comments

Low-FODMAP Holiday Chocolate and Pecan Bread Pudding


Low-FODMAP Chocolate & Pecan Bread Pudding


This recipe is low-FODMAP, gluten-free and dairy-free!  It’s deliciously gooey and will make a wonderful dish to enjoy this holiday season!  We don’t have any leftovers here at my house…enjoy!


  • 7 oz. or 4 gluten-free ciabatta rolls
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla lavender sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed or halved pecans
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 13.5 oz can quality coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a bread pan.
  2. Tear ciabatta rolls into pieces and place into greased pan. Sprinkle on cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla lavender sugar, half of light brown sugar and half of chocolate chips and half of pecans.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk and eggs. Add in vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  4. Pour egg mixture over bread. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, then return and using a spoon, push down any bread pieces that have not absorbed eggs and coconut milk. Return again 5 minutes later and push bread down again. Top with remaining brown sugar, chocolate chips and pecans.
  5. Place bread pan in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until brown and crispy on top.  Lift a portion of the bread pudding up with a spatula to ensure no runny egg liquid can be found.


  • If you can’t find vanilla lavender sugar, you can use vanilla sugar or make the recipe without it.
  • If you cannot find ciabatta rolls, look for other gluten-free dinner rolls, or just use about 6-7 slices of gluten-free bread.
  • Allow the bread pudding to sit for at least a half hour for better consistency.  Tastes awesome the next day too! 👍🏻

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant
Posted in FODMAP Diet, Low FODMAP, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Low-FODMAP Holiday Survival Guide

people, holidays, junk food and fast food concept - happy young

It’s such a wonderful time –  the holidays are here!  This year is especially wonderful for my husband and I as we have a baby to celebrate with.  He’ll be seven months old by the time Christmas arrives and I can’t wait to dress him up in all the beautiful red, white and green pajamas my family gave to him (all cute, no ugly sweaters!).

Stressing Out?

  • OK so the holidays aren’t all about fun cheery things.  I know, because the holidays can sometimes stress me out.  If you don’t take time out for yourself every day, start now.  This time of year can trigger symptoms of IBS. Make sure to add in some stress relief every day.  Walking, yoga, meditation, light exercise, relaxing with a hot cup of decaf green tea, taking a warm bath, or just taking a moment to admire the beauty around you and ALL you are grateful for.

Stay On Track My Friend!

Have your Low-FODMAP Grocery List and High-FODMAP Foods to Avoid on hand.  The holidays come with an array of foods, most of which are high in FODMAPs, unhealthy and not part of your daily diet.  If you are new to the diet, study these lists often.  Opt to eat healthy as much as you can this month and make low-FODMAP recipes at home to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.  Scan the lists for foods you normally don’t buy and try something new!  Get acquainted with all the delicious low-FODMAP fruits, veggies, lactose-free products, grains, seeds and nuts you can have.

Going to an office party, family or friend’s house?  

  • Tell the host you’re excited for the party and ask what foods will be available.  Offer to make a dish (or two – an appetizer and entree), this way you’ll have plenty to eat.
  • Avoid wheat, anything with onions or garlic, sauces, gravies or anything for which you’re not certain of the ingredients!
  • Choose low-FODMAP veggies, nuts and cheese to snack on to keep you satiated.  Avoid salad dressings and dips.
  • For dessert, stick to dark chocolate if possible– up to 5 squares or 30 grams is low in FODMAPs and most people with IBS should be able to tolerate this amount.  Otherwise if gluten-free sweets are available, enjoy those but please – don’t go overboard!
  • Drink plenty of water and no rum or sweet wine!  Here’s the low-down on alcohol for the Low-FODMAP Diet:
    • Red, Sparkling, Sweet, White, Dry – 1/2 glass (75 ml) to 1 glass (150 ml) is low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Beer – 1/2 can (188 ml) or 1 can (375 ml) is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Gin – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml) is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Rum – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml) has excess amounts of fructose which makes it HIGH in FODMAPs and should be avoided.
    • Vodka – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml)  is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.
    • Whiskey – 1/2 serving (15 ml) or 1 serving (30 ml)  is LOW in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most with IBS.

Gift Baskets, Goodies, Oh Joy!

Ahh yes.  Every year we receive gift baskets to our home.  Lots of them!  If you work a desk job you may very well see plenty of them floating around, as well as bowls full of candy.  My tip?  Choose one piece as long as you know it’s low in FODMAPs.  Having a second or third or fourth might seem OK, but in reality, A) you may not know all the ingredients B) is it right to overload your gut with sugar? C) if you’re trying to avoid holiday weight gain, treating yourself to one piece will certainly help!

What’s On Your List?

Got loved ones asking about which gifts you would like?  If you don’t have any of these books, I highly recommend asking for them so you can kick off the New Year with some solid advice and great recipes:

Please Remain Seated

If you’re traveling by plane, take a few low-FODMAP snacks with you!  No one likes to be hungry (and bored) on a plane.  Avoid soda because most are made with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) but soda is also carbonated, which can lead to gas (and there’s no hiding that, especially on a plane).  Avoid fruit juices as well (cranberry is OK – 1 glass or 250 ml).  Vegetable juice is OK – 1 glass or 200 ml.  Just make sure you follow up tomato juice with plenty of water as tomato juice has a lot of sodium.

If you’re staying at a resort, call ahead or check out the menu online to see what choices you have.  Look for gluten-free options.  Inquire to see if they can cater to your dietary needs.  Bring your Low-FODMAP Grocery List and High-FODMAP Foods to Avoid list to ensure you stay on track.  If the resort is willing to work on some alternatives for you, go ahead and share your lists with them.

For more traveling tips, check out this post from my guest blogger Shoshana: TRAVELING on the Low FODMAP diet: Tips to keep the belly happy (and a simple recipe)

Please comment below and take care!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant
Posted in Holidays, Low FODMAP, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IBS, Our Emotional Well-Being and Our Second Brain

Although our gastrointestinal tracts can affect our mood or happiness, our everyday emotional well-being may rely on messages from our second brain in the gut to our brain above.

low fodmap diet stressIf you experience psychological issues like stress, depression or anxiety, all can affect the movement and contractions in your GI tract. The result? Inflammation, infection and the inability to digest certain foods.  Did you know that the reason you may be moody might be due to what your gut is telling your brain?

There is a strong link between the brain and the gut. Many in the field of health and science believe the nerves in our gut, which are actually controlled by our second brain (located within the gut), influence negative emotions, stress or anxiety. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Whether we are angry or sad, relaxed or anxious, all can trigger symptoms in the gut! The brain can influence our perception of what is happening in the gut as well as the activity or “tuning” of the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) “gut brain.”

Issues in your gut can affect your energy level, weight, mood, or may lead to premature aging, chronic disease or allergies. When you have IBS, a healthy diet is imperative, but so is taking care of the mind and body.

By taking care of the mind you may help relax your body and your gut.  Why would you need to try and relax the gut?  Because it’s possibly your gut that’s triggering changes in your mood.

“For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems (symptoms of IBS). But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology.  Researchers now have evidence that when your gastrointestinal system experiences irritation, it may be sending signals to the central nervous system (CNS), triggering changes in your mood.

“These new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety,” Pasricha says. “That’s important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.”

“A person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected — so intimately that they should be viewed as one system.” Harvard Health Publications.

Everyone’s brain-gut interaction is different and several factors can contribute like: state of mind (stressed, relaxed), surrounding environment (pollutants, temperature), distractions (people, technology), past experiences (good and bad) and the gut’s sensitivity to stimuli. The ENS is the master controller, mixing and moving contents around the gut, via a system of complex nerves in the walls of the gut. The ENS can sense what’s happening in the gut and it then controls motility; it is connected to the brain and can be influenced by signals but it can also work solo with its own networks of neurons (nerves).

What Can You Do?

  • Seek out mind-body therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medical hypnotherapy
  • Talk therapy
  • Meditate
  • Gentle exercise like yoga, Pilates, qigong, tai chi, stretching, swimming, golfing, light aerobics, or an easy bike ride.

What Else?

  • Eat slowly
  • Eat without distraction
  • Cook for yourself
  • Get creative

and finally

Be good to yourself –it’s one of the best gifts you can give. If negative talk is part of your everyday life, you need to start saying nicer things –to yourself. Become your own health advocate and learn as much about the low-FODMAP diet as you can. Use your Food & Symptom Diary everyday. Become more connected to healthy foods and cooking for yourself. Everyday send positive energy to your gut. Remind yourself why you are awesome. Life is full of ups and downs. There will always be hard times – have a plan in place for when disaster strikes so you can keep your gut, body and mind as healthy and calm as possible. Eat well, meditate, exercise and be grateful for all the positives in your life, and all the negatives that made you stronger.

Learn more about the Brain-Gut connection by downloading a free infographic here

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant





The Brain-Gut Connection, Johns Hopkins Medicine

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders

Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being The emerging and surprising view of how the enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just processing the food we eat. By Adam Hadhazy | February 12, 2010.

Irritable bowel syndrome: A microbiome-gut-brain axis disorder? Paul J Kennedy, John F Cryan, Timothy G Dinan, and Gerard Clarke World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct 21; 20(39): 14105–14125. Published online 2014 Oct 21. doi:  10.3748/wjg.v20.i39.14105


Posted in IBS, Low FODMAP, Mindful Eating | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Low-FODMAP Recipe Challenge with Deniz of Fructopia!

Hello out there! I know it’s been a while since I have written a post, but life is so busy lately.  Hate to sound corny but I am truly living the phrase “when it rains it pours” but it a very positive way!  Lots of great things happening on my end and I hope with you too.

I especially hope you are eating well, remembering to stay hydrated (champagne doesn’t count) and taking time out for yourself (again, champagne doesn’t count :) ) like taking a walk, meditating, trying some yoga, eyeing that dress that keeps getting remarketed to you from Revolve Clothing and every time you click it’s not in your size any longer…hmmm. No really, I mean it – good quality time for yourself is so important ESPECIALLY when you have IBS.

Learn more about the connection of IBS and your body with these beautiful infographics that myself and my designer Katie have created for you

Another great thing you can do for your body, mind and soul is cook more often at home.  Take the time to learn about new low-FODMAP spices and herbs you’ve never tasted or cooked with, new types of fruits and veggies, or maybe even cook your favorite meat in a different way.  There may seem to be many foods you can’t eat on this diet, but the way I see it, there are actually SO many ways to cook or bake!  I like this elimination diet so much not only because my clients are feeling better then they have in years but also, I see more people are beginning to cook healthier.

I love developing new recipes and taking pictures of them too.  Here’s a fact you may not know – I started my career as a photographer! (More on that later).  So I really love food blogs sprinkled with delicious dishes and gorgeous photos and I especially love reading blogs about wellness and digestive health.  If you are following the low-FODMAP diet, one beautiful blog to check out is Fructopia by Deniz in Germany.


Deniz of Fructopia

Deniz’s story is like mine – we both have past lives working for agencies and we’ve both been pulled in different directions when it came to our diagnosis.  Deniz suffers occasionally from fructose malabsorption but she once suffered greatly.  She was finally diagnosed five years ago with fructose malabsorption and subsequently soon after learned how changing her diet could change her world.  You have to go and check out her website to learn more about fructose malabsorption, check out her beautiful photos and recipes and if you speak German, check out her book!  Deniz hopes her blog is “an inspiration for you to find your own way how to better handle fructose malabsorption.”

So more about the challenge and why I am talking about Deniz.

A couple weeks back after the lovely Julie at CalmBellyKitchen invited myself and the ever-awesome Anna from FODMAPJourney to do the first ever #21dayfodmapchallenge on Instagram, I started thinking of other recipe challenges to do with the ladies of the low-FODMAP blogging world.  I contacted Deniz and asked her to give me at least five ingredients she likes for me to then choose and I would create a recipe for her and have her do the same for me.  She said: Right now I’m nuts about all kind of winter produce. I love sweet potato, spinach, hard cheese like pecorino and all kinds of fresh herbs like mint, parsley or cilantro.”  From that list I used sweet potatoes, spinach, cilantro, parsley and chose to add chicken instead of pork which is not a favorite of Deniz.

I hope you like the dish!  I picture vegans and vegetarians liking it for Thanksgiving or meat-eaters enjoying it anytime.  Don’t forget to head over to her site today to see what’s she has made for me!

I had a great time making this dish for Deniz!  Now having a baby means I can not always do things at the times I’d like, so I would’ve loved to make this dish during the day and photographed it with my professional SLR, in soft natural light, but the iPhone 6+ photos will have to do!

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

low fodmap chicken sweet potato curry


Serves 4

  • 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 can of coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegan substitute
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  1. Peel sweet potatoes and place in a saucepot. Fill pot with water so there will be just enough to cover sweet potatoes. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to boiling. Add sweet potatoes, cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until just tender on outside but not completely tender throughout whole potato. When cool enough to handle, cut into chunks and set aside.
  2. Thoroughly drain and rinse can of chickpeas. Set aside. (On the low-FODMAP diet you can have up to a 1/2 cup of chickpeas, as long as they have been drained and thoroughly rinsed to rid them of any FODMAPs.  Canning allows the FODMAPs to leech out into the water – magical).
  3. Place chicken thighs with oil on medium-high heat in a saucepan. Sear chicken on both sides. Insides should still be slightly pink. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.
  4. Return pan to stove and add in ginger. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Add in coconut cream, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili pepper, butter and remaining salt. Stir until well combined. Mixture should go from white to golden orange. Add in chickpeas, tomatoes and chicken. Make sure chicken is sitting in middle of pan.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer and occasionally scoop up sauce from sides and baste chicken. About 5 minutes in, add spinach and sweet potatoes to outer edges of pan and gently stir to combine. Once chicken is cooked through, serve immediately with curry sauce and garnish with cilantro and parsley.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant
Posted in Low FODMAP, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Vegan Frosting – low-FODMAP

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween today!  Here’s a sweet recipe that’s perfect for the Fall: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting – yum is the only word you need to know (wheat-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, nut-free)!  I used the batter to make mini cupcakes (my recipe will make 24 regular-sized cupcakes) and for a ghoulish look, the frosting wasn’t chilled beforehand which created the canvas for my scary melted ghost faces (using black decorating gel).   The Buttercream Frosting does not contain lactose and it also happens to be vegan.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Servings 24


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using a stand mixer, on medium speed, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Combine with butter-sugar mixture on low speed.
  4. Using a non-stick, un-greased cupcake or muffin pan, fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan and transfer to racks to cool. Let cool for at least 30 minutes, then frost with Buttercream Lactose-Free Frosting (recipe below!).

Buttercream Lactose-Free Frosting

This lactose-free, vegan frosting is so yummy and it’s also vegan! Use it on a variety of cupcakes, cakes, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin cookies.


Makes 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup lactose-free organic margarine (like Earth Balance Original)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain lactose-free yogurt

Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer with a large mixing bowl, cream margarine at a low speed and gradually add in confectioners’ sugar, until combined. Setting speed to high, add remaining ingredients, and beat until smooth and creamy. Be sure to chill first for 30 minutes – 1 hour before using.

*I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread and one item in the ingredients that could be questionable is the pea protein.  It’s not been analyzed yet for FODMAP content, however, it is located toward the end of the ingredients so it shouldn’t be present in high amounts (which is a good rule of thumb to follow when reading labels for the low-FODMAP diet).  Personally, I’ve not had any issues with Earth Balance.

Hope you enjoy!  Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant
Posted in baking, Low FODMAP, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Abundantly Happy Kale, Grains and Seeds Salad – New low-FODMAP Recipe!

Abundantly Happy Kale, Grains and Seeds Salad

I’ve been enjoying my time as a co-host for the #21dayfodmapchallenge, created by Julie of CalmBellyKitchen.com and also co-hosted by Anna of FODMAP Journey, who has guest blogged for FODMAPLife several times (check out this awesome post of Anna’s).

If you haven’t joined in yet there’s still time!  Learn more by visiting my Instagram profile here.

Yesterday’s theme for the#21dayfodmapchallenge was Great Grains so I decided to finish a recipe I’ve been working on, and I hope you enjoy it!

This salad is a low-FODMAP phytonutrient and vitamin powerhouse and it’s also colorful, crunchy and easy to make.  Vegetarians and vegans will love the mix of veggies, seeds, grains and nuts.  If you’re a meat-eater (and you just need to have your meat) you can always add a piece of grilled fish or lean meat to this salad, however I think it’s perfectly filling as is.  Make ahead of time and have for lunch the next day or bring to a gathering.

low fodmap grain salad

photo by: Colleen Francioli


Serves 4

  • 9 leaves curly kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (purchase one without FODMAPs)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks, then into thirds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 2 radishes, sliced very thin
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup buckwheat, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds


  1. Cut away ribs and stems from kale, wash thoroughly, drain in colander.  Chop kale leaves into long, thin shreds.  Add to a large-sized bowl and sprinkle salt and 2 tablespoons oil on top.  Massage leaves with hands until leaves begin to darken and soften.
  2. Add remaining oil to bowl, squeeze in lemon juice, discarding any pits. Add in ginger, celery, yellow bell pepper, carrot, pumpkin seeds, radishes, brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat.  Toss to combine.  Add more lemon juice or olive oil if desired.  Divide onto plates and top with slivered almonds.  Keep covered in refrigerator for up to three days.

*Tip – If brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat have been made ahead of time (a smart idea!) and are cold, I like to combine all into a skillet with 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil to warm up before adding to the other salad ingredients.  Preparing such low-FODMAP staples such as these ahead of time makes it much easier to follow the low-FODMAP diet. During your busy week, add them to salads, soups, stir-fry, sandwiches and more.

Hope you enjoy!  Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day/evening, where ever in the world you are!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant


Posted in FODMAP Diet, Low FODMAP, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mozzarella-Stuffed Quinoa Meatballs

The meatballs I know from childhood contained breadcrumbs and raisins.  I still remember the smell, filling every room and surface area in my Grandmother’s home.  And then biting into them – always humungous in size and one was enough for an adult yet Grandma would give the kids at least two or three!  Those meat-a-balls were absolutely delicious but if you’ve been following the low-FODMAP diet, you know raisins and breadcrumbs (unless gluten-free) are HIGH in FODMAPs.  Don’t you worry there fellow #FODMAPer, my recipe is the modern version of meatball bliss – healthier, delicious, low-FODMAP and oozing with mozzarella!

low fodmap meatballs copyTurkey Quinoa Meatballs with Mozzarella

Easy and cozy for a Sunday night, try these meatballs topped on gluten-free pasta mixed with diced roma tomatoes (or low-FODMAP sauce) and Parmesan cheese.


Servings 15

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 pound ground lean turkey meat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons or 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a large bowl, mix all ingredients together (except the mozzarella).  Divide meat mixture into 15 portions.
  3. Place 1 small mozzarella cube in the center of each portion and shape into a ball using your hands.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or more.  They should not be pink inside.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and add to gluten-free pasta with fresh cut roma tomatoes, parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper or serve as appetizers.

Hope you enjoy!  Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter! Follow/like/comment on Facebook,Instagram,Twitter and Pinterest.

Have a great rest of your day/evening, where ever in the world you are!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Q and A Sunday October 11, 2015

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

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

Here are today’s questions:

low fodmap q and a

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

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

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

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

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

And more HELP for you #FODMAPers…

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

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

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

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

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Posted in IBS, Low FODMAP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

low fodmap q and a

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

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

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

monash low fodmap

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

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

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

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

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

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

And more…

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

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

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

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

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Posted in IBS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Low-FODMAP, Nut-Free Cranberry Bars!

I like doing things on my own especially if in the long run it will save me money, make me healthier and help me avoid a headache.  That’s where the term “Make-Ahead” comes into play with the low-FODMAP diet!  “Convenience bars” can be bought at the store, but you’ll find that by standing there for minutes on end, reading the tiny little print on the wrappers, that many of them are not low in FODMAPs.  Plus some cost way too much money (if you think about how many you may have in one week, it adds up!).

So making food ahead of time is probably one of the best things you can do to have a successful run with the low-FODMAP diet, and it also means less stress (which is good for your gut).  The recipe I am sharing today is very easy to make and it’s also good for anyone with a nut allergy or for kids needing nut-free snacks for school.

Bring these bars to school, to work, out shopping, traveling, to have before a workout, or to an event – sometimes you never really know if an event/party/get-together will have low-FODMAP food options.


low fodmap nut free cranberry bars


  • 2 cups old fashioned oats* (I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats)
  • 1/2 cup rice krispie or organic rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 cup ground and milled flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, preferably without added sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper
  3. Use the large bowl of your mixer to combine all of the dry ingredients and then a smaller bowl to combine the wet ingredients
  4. Combine the wet ingredients into the mixer and mix well
  5. Take the mixture and slowly use a spatula to spread it out evenly in the pan.
  6. Use a separate piece of parchment paper over top of the mixture and get a heavy book or other heavy flat object to press down evenly and firmly. Remove the parchment paper and bake for 16-18 minutes (don’t throw the top layer of parchment paper away).
  7. Once done, use the parchment paper and heavy object to squish down on the bars again.
  8. Place the pan on top of a cookie sheet and find a spot in the refrigerator to let the pan cool for about 15-20 minutes.  This will allow you to easily cut the bars into any length and width you like and it will give the bars a slightly more chewy texture.  Leaving the pan to cool outside instead of the refrigerator is not recommended.

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Posted in FODMAP Diet, IBS, IBS Diet, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Vitamin D and Other Vitamins and Minerals

Great Vitamins for your guts!

Great Vitamins for your guts!

Did you know if you have IBS or IBD that you may be deficient in Vitamin D?  Vitamin D is a game-changer, or at least it was for me.  As soon as I started taking Vitamin D3, I started feeling better and had more energy!  There are a few steps you need to take in order to feel better when you have a digestive disorder, and Vitamin D is one very important step.

As we experience changes or abnormalities in our digestive patterns, our bodies cannot fully absorb dietary vitamin D.  Vitamin D strengthens our immune system and boosts immunity.  It also helps with depression.  Are you still listening dear FODMAP Life friend? :)

According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin D supplementation could play a therapeutic role in the control of IBS...Vitamin D supplementation should be considered as a part of the therapeutic protocol in patients with IBS.”  If you aren’t taking Vitamin D, please keep reading!

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Vitamin D serves several purposes which can help with IBS symptoms, here are just a few with regard to IBS and digestion:

  • Enhances the immune system and stimulates the development of white blood cells (remember 70%+ of our immune system lies in our gut!)
  • Helps reduce inflammation in the body
  • Increases calcium absorption

What are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?

If you don’t have enough Vitamin D and you suffer from IBD, you risk intestinal damage. The digestive tract of people with Crohn’s disease as well as Celiac disease cannot adequately absorb vitamin D.  If you have IBS and do not take Vitamin D, symptoms would not be as severe as the type of intestinal damage from Crohn’s or Celiac, but it could mean ongoing discomfort, pain, and some of the other symptoms you unfortunately know too well.

How to Test

Consider having your blood levels checked for any deficiencies in Vitamin D or other vitamins and nutrients (this goes for children as well).  You can ask your doctor for blood tests or order them online. These tests can help determine which vitamins a person lacks and those of which they are receiving enough naturally.  Vitamin and nutrition blood tests can also detect gluten, mineral, iron, calcium and other deficiencies.  Also, taking supplements without having blood levels checked isn’t recommended as one never knows exactly how much of a vitamin they are getting from food, and also in this case from the sun (see below).

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?

If you have IBS and are trying out the low-FODMAP diet, try to have your blood levels checked and consider using Vitamin D3 instead of synthetic vitamin D2.  You will want to reach steady levels, so make time to see your doctor every three months to ensure you do.  An optimal range is 40-55 ng/ml.  Also depending on where you live and how much sun you receive, your doctor may ask you to take less in the summer and more in the winter.  If you live in Juneau, AK with the least amount of sun in the U.S. or in Iceland, you’ll need a good dose of Vitamin D year-round!

Your doctor may have you take up to 50,000 IUs per week to start.  Here is a more holistic approach to taking Vitamin D:

  • Minimum (to prevent deficiency): 15 mcg (600 IU) per day
  • Preventative (to prevent chronic disease):60-80 mcg (2,400 IU – 3,200 IU), depending on your weekly dose of sunshine; use lower does plus 1/2 hour sunshine, 4 times/week. Over age 50: 100-150 mcg (4,000-6,000 IU per day, again depending on your weekly dose of sunshine)
  • Therapy for specific problems: 125 mg -200 mcg (5,000 – 8,000 IU) per day.  At this level of supplementation, blood levels should be tested and not exceed 80 ng/ml.

Getting Some Sun

Our skin makes Vitamin D after exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (so cool, right?).  In order to synthesize Vitamin D in the skin, sun exposure is suggested for at least a ½ hour before sunscreen is applied (unless a doctor has suggested otherwise).

A blurb image of a yellow catfish with its mouth wide open awaiting food. The catfish is surrounded by ripples on the water.

Natural, Low-FODMAP Sources of Vitamin D

  • Catfish – Super food source
  • Salmon (canned or pink, coho, sockeye cooked by dry heat) – great food sources
  • Flounder/sole (cooked by dry heat) – good food source
  • Herring (fresh), sardines (canned in oil), eggs (yolks or whole) – support food sources
  • Regular milk – as long as you do not malabsorb lactose you can have milk during the elimination and challenge phase of the low-FODMAP diet.


Vitamin D levels exceeding 100 ng/mL can be dangerous because the extra vitamin D triggers extra calcium absorption.  Symptoms include muscle pain, mood disorders, abdominal pain and kidney stones. It may also increase risk for heart attack and stroke. That’s why it’s super important you don’t take too much Vitamin D.

Other Vitamins and Minerals

Having enough magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C are also vital to a healthy gut. Here the low-FODMAP foods that are natural sources to consider adding to your low-FODMAP regimen:

Magnesium – Green leafy vegetables like (spinach and Swiss chard), nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds). Avocados. Low-FODMAP foods:

  • Minimum (to prevent deficiency): 420 mg per day
  • Preventative (to prevent chronic disease): 750 mg per day
  • Therapy for specific problems: up to 1,000 mg per day

*If you increase your calcium without increasing magnesium, your body might not absorb enough magnesium.  It’s recommended to take magnesium at a different time than calcium.  If you have kidney disease you would need to be careful about not getting an excess of magnesium.

Zinc – Has been cited as helping those with leaky gut and Crohn’s disease and “that zinc supplementation can resolve permeability alterations in patients with Crohn’s disease in remission. Improving intestinal barrier function may contribute to reduce the risk of relapse in Crohn’s disease.  A deficiency in zinc can lead to diarrhea, impaired appetite, and depressed immunity.  Low-FODMAP foods: Oysters, Crab (Alaska King, Dungeness, Blue), braised/ground/top sirloin beef.

  • Minimum (to prevent deficiency): 11 mg per day
  • Preventative (to prevent chronic disease): 24 mg per day
  • Therapy for specific problems: 50-80 mg per day

*Calcium will interfere with zinc absorption if there’s an excess amount in diet/supplements.  High levels of iron supplementation can also interfere.  Loss of zinc can occur from heavy sweating, surgery, alcohol use and stress.

Calcium – If you know you do not malabsorb lactose, fat-free organic Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium.  Calcium will interfere with the absorption of zinc if there is excess in food or supplemental intake. 1,000-1,200 mg per day (chelated) is suggested before bedtime and between meals as there will be more acid in the stomach. Taking Vitamin A, C and D and magnesium are important in order to maximize calcium absorption.  Low-FODMAP foods: mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, romano cheese.

  • Minimum (to prevent deficiency): 800-1,000 mg per day
  • Preventative (to prevent chronic disease): 1,000-1,200 mg per day
  • Therapy for specific problems: up to 1,400 mg per day

*In order to maximize absorption of calcium, an adequate amount of Vitamin D, A & C are needed, as well as magnesium.  Chelated calcium (calcium citrate) also helps.

Vitamin A – Vitamin A works as an antioxidant and also increases the production of cells which increase resistance to infection in your immune system, helping to keep your system functioning normally.  It’s needed for growth within the intestinal tract and for the absorption of calcium.  Too much Vitamin A can also be toxic so take no more than 5,000 international units (IU) per day.  Low-FODMAP foods: carrots, sweet potatoes (up to 1/2 cup), squash, dark green and leafy low-FODMAP veggies as well as egg yolks.

  • Minimum (to prevent deficiency): DRI of 900 RAE per day (RAE value -retinol activity equivalent)
  • Preventative (to prevent chronic disease): 30,000 IU from carotenoids
  • Therapy for specific problems: 50,000 IU for chronic problems and 100,000 IU for 2 weeks for an acute issue 

*Alcohol use, a vitamin E deficiency, cortisone medications and a high iron intake can all decrease absorption of vitamin A.  Also when the body is ill or stressed to the max, it won’t store as much vitamin A.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful immune booster and increases whit blood cell activity in the immune system.  It can also cause gas, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.  It is a natural laxative so do not take more than what your doctor recommends (or generally more than 2,000 mg).  Take between breakfast and lunch on an empty stomach.  Take in the form of ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate.  Low-FODMAP foods: red and yellow bell peppers, raw chopped kale, raw kiwis, raw strawberries cut in halves, raw chopped broccoli, raw navel oranges, berries, fresh raw pineapple, tomatoes.

  • Minimum (to prevent deficiency): 200 mg per day
  • Preventative (to prevent chronic disease): 600 mg per day
  • Therapy for specific problems: up to 5,000 mg per day  

*Since Vitamin C moves fast throughout the body, consider taking it every four hours to maximize absorption.  Aging, alcohol, allergies, antibiotics, aspirin, birth control pills, cortisone, diabetes, environmental toxins, fever, estrogen, illness, smoking and stress can all decrease absorption or increase the need for Vitamin C.


US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health, Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2001 May;7(2):94-8., Zinc supplementation tightens “leaky gut” in Crohn’s disease. Sturniolo GC1, Di Leo V, Ferronato A, D’Odorico A, D’Incà R.

Are You Taking Too Much Calcium, A or D? 

The Power of Nutrient Dense Food Patti Weller, C.C.N.

The information presented on this blog post is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your own physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Should you have any health care-related questions, call or see your physician or other health care provider promptly. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.

Posted in IBS, IBS Diet, Uncategorized, Vitamins | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Your Facebook Questions Answered, Q and A Sunday – Low-FODMAP Diet

This post is dedicated to our Facebook fans!  A couple weeks ago I asked on Facebook:

“Tell me one thing you’d like to learn more about (the low-FODMAP diet) and I’ll choose ten comments to respond to via a blog post.”  There was a huge response, and many of the ten questions I chose did not come with simple explanations (as you all know perfectly well, this is certainly not a simple diet!).  Also, everyday I receive dozens of questions about the diet via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email.  So I felt it was a great opportunity to do something different and bring you the Low-FODMAP Diet Q & A Sunday.

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

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

Question 1: Rachel Wittman Cox- Question: “What is a good filling easy fodmap breakfast and how long do most people stay on it before noticing improvements?”

Answer:  I tend to go with eggs whites in the morning for some nice filling protein.  I’ll then add a low-FODMAP cheese like mozzarella, a low-FODMAP veggie like spinach and a piece of gluten-free toast with coconut oil or butter.  Other ideas are:

  • Gluten-free oats with 1 tbsp slivered almonds and 10-20 blueberries
  • Quinoa flakes with rice milk, 3/4 cup strawberries and 10 macadamia nut halves or other low-FODMAP nut.
  • Lactose-free yogurt with 10 raspberries, 1o walnut halves and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • Gluten-free toast with 1 tablespoon sunflower, peanut or almond butter and two small, peeled kiwis.

To answer the other question, some people feel results in a couple days, some a couple of weeks.  Everyone is different, and it also depends how diligent you are about following the diet.  Thankfully up to 70% of people following the diet can find an improvement in symptoms (per research by Peter Gibson, a professor of gastroenterology at Australia’s Monash University).

Gut health word cloud on a white background.

Question 2: Karen Hazlett – Question: “I know I can’t digest high fodmap foods but I have no idea why, medically speaking. Is there a known reason?”

Answer: Some people have trouble digesting FODMAPs due to the fact that FODMAPs ferment, causing gas/wind, bloating, diarrhea, distention and/or constipation. FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine (your small intestine is supposed to absorb nutrients and minerals from food) and then are rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut. The bacteria produces gas which plays a large role in the onslaught of symptoms.  The bacteria are basically eating FODMAP carbohydrates and then fermenting the sugar molecules.

Since fermentation causes gas it can make diarrhea worse or contribute to constipation. The methane gas that is produced can cause constipation while the hydrogen can increase GI motility.  What is GI motility?  It is defined by the movements of the digestive system, and the transit of the contents within it. When nerves or muscles in any portion of the digestive tract do not function with their normal strength and coordination, a person develops symptoms related to motility problems.

These FODMAPs or small undigested remnants of oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols accumulate gases and cause what is called an osmotic effect.

FODMAPs are “osmotic” which means they cause water to be drawn into the intestines, leading to diarrhea.  Stool stays more watery than usual which leads to bloating, gas, diarrhea, and pain.

The food we eat is broken down by one or more enzymes which are chemicals that digest foods into energy for your cells.  In order for carbohydrate digestion to take place we need amylase.  Amylase is produced in the pancreas and the glands that make saliva.  As you chew, the amylase continues to break down carbohydrates throughout your digestive system. Amylase breaks down carbs into their individual sugars as they pass from the mouth to the stomach and the gut. The cells lining your gut can absorb them and distribute them to other parts of your body for energy.

Since FODMAPs aren’t completely digested in the small intestine like other carbs, they manage to pass through to the large intestine intact, instead of being absorbed in the gut and used for energy. Why does this happen?  It’s because we can’t break down FODMAPs (a) or we can’t absorb them in the small intestine (b):

(a) Amylase is the main enzyme responsible for starch digestion, and if the quantity of starch consumed is so high that not enough amylase is available to keep up with it, your gut may not digest everything. Some FODMAPs reach the large intestine intact because a person does not have the enzymes necessary to digest them. People who have lactose (the disaccharide “D”) intolerance have a deficiency of the enzyme lactase (needed to break down lactose down into simple sugars). Everyone reacts to raffinose (one of the oligosaccharides, the “O” in FODMAPs), because humans lack the enzyme to completely break it down.  Raffinose is a sugar present in sugar beet, cotton seed, and many grains. It is a trisaccharide containing glucose, galactose, and fructose units.

(b) Fructose (the monosaccharide “M” in FODMAPs) is a simple sugar and doesn’t need to be broken down further.  It is difficult to absorb, so it stays in the intestine instead of getting transported through the intestinal wall into the body.  So for instance, with fructose malabsorption there is an increased concentration of fructose in the entire intestine.  In order for fructose to be absorbed in healthy people, only about 25–50 g can be consumed per sitting. People with fructose malabsorption absorb less than 25 g per sitting.

Humans can produce small amounts of the enzymes needed to break up galacto-oligosaccharides and fructans into their individual subunits.  One person to the next may handle galacto-oligosaccharides and fructans differently.  As an example, you might be able to enjoy hummus and break down the galacto-oligosaccharides in it, but you may not be able to break down the fructans in the bread you used to dip in the hummus.  It might be the opposite for someone sitting next to you with IBS.  Our immune systems (for people with and people without IBS) handle food, outside pathogens and stress differently.  And to be very scientific:

Humans have a limited absorptive capacity for fructose since its absorption is an energy independent process and this capacity is quite variable [9, 10].

“Malabsorption of fructose generates an osmotic force which increases water influx into the lumen and then leads to rapid propulsion of bowel contents into the colon, which is then fermented and leads to production of gas.

Stomach / Guts / Small Intestine - Male anatomy of human organs - x-ray view

“The most common structural forms of fructan are inulin, levanare and geraminan. The human body has limited ability to break down these oligo- or polysaccharides in the small bowel and only absorbs 5 – 15% of fructan [22, 23]. The mechanism for malabsorption and intolerance is related to the lack of enzymes to fully hydrolyze glycosidic linkages in the complex polysaccharide, and therefore results in the malabsorbed fructans to be delivered to the colon, which are then fermented [24]. Furthermore, the small molecule of fructans draws more water into the intestine which can result in bloating and diarrhea [24].

“At least 70% of polyols are not absorbed in healthy individuals [29].

In our gastrointestinal tract, we have two primary types of bacteria called bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Bacteriodetes are good because they will eat carbs, protein and fat, but firmicutes eat mostly carbs and fiber. Research has found that people with IBS, (which is often a SIBO related condition) tend to have more firmicutes than bacteriodetes.  The more firmicutes one has in the gut, the more there is to ferment FODMAPS.  “Approximately 100 trillion bacterial cells live in the GI tract, mostly in the large intestine.  While colonic bacteria predominantly are from two bacterial phyla, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, there are about 400 species represented and the gut flora profile (type of bacteria and amounts of each type) is highly variable from one individual to another and even within individuals over time. Family members, however, share more similar gut flora than unrelated individuals.”

Then there is STRESS and did you know that stress can affect bacteria?  When you are going through a rough time like the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or the ending of a relationship, the emotional stress you experience releases adrenal stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. Your brain gets worked over by these stress hormones as your vagus nerve gets stimulated. The brain-gut connection is this same vagus nerve that is involved with stress.  Your blood supply is reduced and therefore it’s harder for your body to properly digest foods and manage the balance of bacteria (a balance is essential for your gut-microbiome). Stress hurts your digestion, and poor digestion makes you feel more stressed.

And finally, please read this response from Jane G. Muir, PhD and Peter R. Gibson, MD in Gastroenterology and Hepatology July, 2013, The Low FODMAP Diet for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Other Gastrointestinal Disorders: “The topic of food intolerance is a challenging area of research, and more quality research is required. The success of the low FODMAP diet for control of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with IBS and the controversy surrounding gluten sensitivity have stimulated greater interest in dietary research. Besides carbohydrates, there are many other food components worthy of study. For example, dietary fat has been shown in acute studies to change visceral hypersensitivity. Naturally occurring chemicals are widespread in foods and can interact with receptors in the gut or have direct, possibly pharmacologic actions on the enteric nervous system and mast cells. Although dietary approaches that restrict natural salicylates, glutamates, and amines are currently in practice, few well-designed studies investigating the potential role of food chemicals in patients with functional gut disorders have been performed. Clearly, more work is required in this area.”

That’s it for this Sunday.  Don’t forget to follow me on social media an sign up for my newsletter!

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

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant


Posted in FODMAP Diet, FODMAP Facts, FODMAP How To, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

10 Things FODMAPers Can Relate To…

That look of fear/confusion when starting the diet - ha ha!

That look of fear/confusion when starting the diet – ha ha!

Hi again all!

A change from recipes today…

A little while after learning about the low-FODMAP diet I wrote the below, ’10 Things FODMAPers Can Relate To’. In case you missed it, and because the FODMAP diet is receiving more and more awareness all the time, I thought I’d share it once again.

So, if you’ve followed, or are currently following the diet, you may be able to relate to some or all of the below (and hopefully have a giggle at them too!)

10 Things FODMAPers Can Relate To:

1. Starting out on the diet, looking at the list of ‘no’ foods and wondering what on earth you CAN eat.

2. Furiously Googling ‘(insert food)… fodmap?’ into your phone at a supermarket, hoping it will be in the ‘yes’ list and doing a mini celebration upon realising it is!*
*Or instead using the Monash University Low-FODMAP App, which makes life easy!

3. Proudly producing a meal to others and saying “it’s low-FODMAP you know” – only to receive blank/”yeah, so what?” expressions.

4. Being asked what FODMAP stands for umpteen times, and responding with…”errr really long and complicated words – to do with fibres”.

5. Going to a restaurant and looking for the meal with least FODMAPs, only to end up opting for the meal with the most…somehow.

6. Be impressed by the ‘free-from’ aisle in the supermarket, only to realise that a large proportion of the gluten-free foods still contain bloomin’ FODMAPS – ARRRRRR!

7. Going for an all you can eat knowing full well you will regret it and not caring one bit (until afterwards…).

8. Seeing high-FODMAP foods as the enemy  *boooooo hissssss*

9. Becoming a food-version of ‘Mr/Ms Gadget’ carrying around weird and wonderful foods with you ‘just in case’.

10. Having a far happier tum/knowing your body much better since becoming a low-FODMAPer (hopefully…) and all the meal planning/change of lifestyle being completely worth it :)

Feel free to add to the list! Anna. xo

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Some Last Minute Low-FODMAP Labor Day Tips!

Illustration composition Patriotic graphics for Labor day holiday, 3D text, American flag and balloons on white background

Quick Last Minute Low-FODMAP Labor Day Tips!

Are you going to a BBQ this Labor Day?  Here are some tips to help you through:

Having hamburgers or hot dogs?  Buy some gluten-free Udi’s hamburger buns or hot dog buns and bring them with you to all your weekend events.

These toppings for hamburgers and hot dogs are low in FODMAPs: ketchup (see below), mustard, chutney (1 tablespoon is LOW), relish (1 tablespoon is LOW), BBQ sauce (2 tablespoons – make sure it’s free of FODMAPs like onions and garlic), cheddar cheese, colby cheese and swiss cheese (all 2 slices).

Here are the serving amounts for ketchup:

Ketchup – (USA)- 1 serve sweetened with sucrose OR sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (2 sachets, 0.90 ounces or 26 grams) is HIGH.  1 sachet, 0.45 ounces or 13 grams of either kind is LOW. Tomato sauce (AUS) 1/2 serve to 1 serve is LOW.  Large quantities of tomato sauce (26 grams or 4 sachets) contains moderate amounts of Oligos-fructans, intake should be limited.

All meat is considered low in FODMAPs, unless the meat contains HIGH FODMAPs (ex: meatballs containing raisins or breadcrumbs – sausages can have breadcrumbs too).

Bored of water?  Freeze some strawberries and mint into an ice cube tray and add to your water!

Sweet corn is OK if you stick to a 1/2 of a cob.

Need to bring a dish?  Try this delicious BLT and Avocado Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette by The Spicy RD!  *Scroll to the bottom for her notes on how to make it low-FODMAP.

Wanna have a drink?  Remember one drink for women and two drinks for men are the recommended safe limits.  You can enjoy some alcohol on the diet, so check out an older post of mine here to learn more.  Drink responsibly!

Make sure you check out my list of HIGH FODMAP Foods to Avoid and remember, if you end up having a food HIGH in FODMAPs, don’t beat yourself up about it, but don’t continue eating all HIGH FODMAP foods either.  Make note in your Food & Symptom Diary if you do experience any symptoms.  Do the best you can this weekend and focus on all the delicious LOW FODMAP foods life has to offer!





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Low-FODMAP Snacks for Back to School!

It’s back to school time and if you’re a mom or a dad with a child following the low-FODMAP diet, I have quite a few snack ideas for your little one!

Also my FODMAP Life Starter box is for sale and includes full and sample size products from some of the brands below (GoMacro, Justin’s, Glutino, Green Valley Organics plus Ian’s, Chebe, Uncle Harry’s).  It also includes my grocery list to make it super easy to go shopping or dine out, plus a Food & Symtpom Diary so you can keep track of everything your child eats/feels/experiences (very helpful when working with a doctor or FODMAP expert when you’re trying to understand food or environmental triggers) plus the box includes tips, recipes and coupons.

Get your box today for some awesome snacks for your little girl or guy!  Buy your FODMAP Life Starter Box here.  SORRY, SOLD OUT!

If your school has a ban on nuts, use the nut butter and nut cracker ideas for home, the weekends or family trips!  Here are your low-FODMAP snacks!

Smart Tips

Make sure your child stays hydrated with water and doesn’t go for a can of soda or fruit juice.  One glass (250 ml) of cranberry juice is LOW in FODMAPs, but apple, orange, fruit blends and tropical juices are HIGH in FODMAPs.

Let your child’s teacher or any child care provider know about the diet and discuss any upcoming class parties or events to make sure there are options.

If your child is old enough, let him or her put some the above snacks together!  This will help them to learn more about which foods are low-FODMAP.

Give your child a copy of my Grocery List to keep in their bag at all times.

Gastrointestinal issues can stunt growth in children, so be sure to work with a pediatric dietitian who is trained in the low-FODMAP diet. They can help you with the diet and work with your pediatrician to ensure there’s no other gastrointestinal issues or other health issues.

Happy Back to School!


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Low-FODMAP Recipes with Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs!

If you recently purchased my FODMAP Life Starter Box then you would be enjoying Ian’s Allergy-Friendly Gluten-Free Panko Breadcrumbs right about now!  If you want to be a part of the next box, make sure to sign up for my email newsletter!

ian's gluten free panko

So getting back to Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs – my my these are so delicious.  I’ve used them in low-FODMAP dishes on fish and for chicken parmesan but there’s so many more things you can do with them!  Here’s some low-FODMAP ideas you can try for your next meal!

Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs do not have wheat or gluten, milk or casein, eggs or nuts!

Be sure to check out Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs on their website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram!


Zucchini is low in FODMAPs.  Cut up a zucchini into quarters.  Scramble an egg and dip zucchini into the egg and then into a shallow bowl filled with Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs, black pepper and oregano.  Lightly fry in a pan with olive oil.  Pair with a lactose-free ranch dressing recipe (be sure to omit the garlic!).

Parmesan Crusted Chicken is so easy to make.  Try this recipe I found on Yummly and use Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs.  I would use a natural brand of mayonnaise like Sir Kensington instead of Hellmann’s (you don’t need soybean oil and modified corn starch in your mayo) but that’s just how I roll :)

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese is one of my favorites.  Try out my recipe and then sprinkle Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs on top!

Salmon Cakes – salmon like most proteins is low in FODMAPs (an example of a protein not low in FODMAPs would be sausage that has added FODMAPs like apples, raisins or meatballs with added breadcrumbs that are not wheat-free, gluten-free).  Salmon cakes are very easy to make and Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs make a great compliment.

salmon cakes FODMAP Life copy2

For the salmon cakes you will need:

  • 1/4 cup Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • green tips of two scallions
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 7 ounces lactose-free sour cream
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill

For the salmon cakes:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the salmon, green tips of scallions, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until coarsely chopped.
  2. Mix in the bread crumbs and form into 7-8 patties.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties until opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side. Top with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped scallions. Serve with a side salad.

For the topping:

In your food processor combine dill, sour cream, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Pulse until blended and dollop onto salmon cakes.  Serve alone or with a side salad.

This recipe was originally written by Lauren Hendrickson and adapted to be low-FODMAP.

Buy Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs at your local natural foods store or here on Amazon!

Enjoy and let me know what you’ve made with your Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs! ~Colleen


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The FODMAP Life Starter Box is Here!

fodmap friends review

@FODMAPFriends Shoshana was pretty happy to get her FODMAP Life Starter Box!

Check out the FODMAP Life Starter Box!

My email subscribers were the first to know about this box, and we’re already 50% sold out!  So if you are still not an email subscriber, sign up to get notified when our next box is ready!

SORRY, we are now SOLD OUT!

This box is perfect for anyone following the low-FODMAP diet because it has full and sample size products that have low-FODMAP ingredients, coupons for low-FODMAP products, my Grocery List and Food & Symptom Diary as well as recipes from medical nutrition therapist and FODMAP expert Patsy Catsos’ new co-authored book IBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family (Available September 1, 2015 at major online retailers).


Quantities are Limited!

Shipping is free 

Thank you to @FODMAPFriends and to Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD for these awesome reviews!

“SOOOO STOKED to receive my FODMAPlife starter kit today from a super inspiring fellow fodmapper friend who I’ve met thru Instagram!!  I personally know how hard it was to get started and learn everything about this lifestyle. I wish I had this when I first started my diet to help me get started but better late than never😂 I am eating my @glutinofoods pretzels with@justins almond butter right now lol👏👏👏 Thank u Colleen for making fodmap awareness more accessible!!!”  @FODMAPFriends Shoshana Tuszer

“This thoughtfully assembled collection of products will get you off to a quick start, with great-tasting, lower-FODMAP alternatives to high-FODMAP staples such as bread, snacks and seasonings. Love the little booklet, with low-FODMAP food lists and tips–this will fit nicely in your purse or briefcase so you can bring it with you wherever you go.” Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD, Co-author of 100 IBS-Free Recipes for the Whole Family (Available September 1, 2015 at major online retailers).

Be an Influencer and Help Others!

When you buy the FODMAP Life Starter Box you can help us by taking a survey (link to online survey included in the box).  Your feedback will be shared with our product sponsors and will help influence future boxes to provide you with more of the products and diet tools you love and need!

Here’s where you can find all the brands that have partnered with us!  Be sure to follow/like/love them on social media!

Website & Facebook Links

Thanks again for being a loyal fan of FODMAP Life.  Please let me know how I can be of more help to you in the future.  Please SHARE this email with friends and family who have IBS!

~ Colleen

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Udi’s Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Pizza Crust! Low-FODMAP

udi's GF pizza low fodmapOne of my favorites is Udi’s Pizza Crust!  You can find these in the freezer aisle, two to a pack.  Now there’s no reason to say you can’t find a FODMAP-friendly pizza when you can easily make your own!  Start off each pizza with a light drizzle of garlic-infused oil.  Here’s one recipe you can try this weekend or next week for dinner!

Find Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts (2 Pack) here

The Healthy Greek – cut up two fresh Roma tomatoes, spread them over the oiled crust (use garlic-infused oil if you have it or olive oil). Add at least 1 cup or more of fresh spinach.  Spread out a 1/4 cup of diced black olives.  Sprinkle a 1/2 TSP of dried oregano.  Sprinkle equal amounts of crumbled feta cheese and diced pieces of mozzarella cheese.  Bake according to directions on package.  

*If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, use canned, organic, with low or no sodium.  I like Muir Glen, Diced Tomatoes, no salt added.


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Low-FODMAP Smoothie Recipes

Mmm mm mmmm I just love smoothies.  They make you feel so good and they’re easy if you’re on the run.  Some quick tips before I go into recipes:

1) With smoothies you’ll be drinking from a straw.  Know that sometimes drinking from a straw can cause symptoms of gas or bloating.

2) If you’re consuming a smoothie because it’s easy and you’re on the run to get somewhere fast you still need to slowwww down and drink it slowly.

3) It’s best you make your own smoothie so as to avoid a fruit bomb – meaning too many servings of fruit at once.  When you want to make a smoothie low-FODMAP,  just add the equivalent of one fruit serving.

Keep in mind some smoothie shops add different types of sweeteners (remember avoid honey and agave and HIGH FODMAP fruit and fruit juices), unhealthy processed ingredients as well as milk products which can cause trouble if you malabsorb lactose.  Make sure you know exactly what’s in your smoothie!  Trust me, I’ve had a smoothie before (before I knew about the low-FODMAP diet) and I was far from home – don’t you know that I just made it to a restroom.

low-fodmap smoothie recipesLow-FODMAP Smoothie Recipes

When ever you want to add a protein source, I like to use Jay Robb’s Unflavored Protein Powder.  Buy it on Amazon here and have it ready at home for your next smoothie.

Lactose-free alternatives that you can swap in/out are: coconut milk (1/2 cup), lactose-free milk (up to 1 cup), soy milk (from soy protein, up to 1 cup), or lactose-free yogurt (one serving).  Hemp milk is another lactose-free alternative that was recently analyzed by Monash University for its FODMAP content!  You can enjoy up to one cup.

Take any of the combos below and simply blend all together until smooth:

Banana-Nut – 1/2 medium ripe banana, 5 frozen strawberries, walnuts -10 nut halves, ½ cup soy milk, 1 cup crushed ice.

Strawberry Morning -1/2 ripe banana, 5 frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup soy or coconut milk, 1/4 cup oats (quick, dry), 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract.

Blue Moon – 10 frozen blueberries, 1/2 medium ripe banana, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 cup soy or coconut milk, 1 cup crushed ice.

Peanut Butter Lover – 1/2 frozen ripe banana, 1/8 of an avocado, 2 tablespoons peanut butter (could also use other low-FODMAP nut or seed butters), ½ cup lactose-free yogurt (like Green Valley Organic’s), 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup crushed ice.

Shamrock Shake – 1/2 frozen ripe banana, 1/8 of an avocado, 1 to 2 romaine lettuce leaves or a handful of baby spinach, ½ cup lactose-free milk, ¼ teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon alcohol-free peppermint extract.

Enjoy!  xo Colleen

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*These smoothie recipes have not been formerly analyzed for FODMAPs, however the servings used are low-FODMAP and the overall recipe should be low in FODMAPs.

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Beef Tacos: Low-FODMAP Recipe

Tasty Tacos - low-FODMAP style

Low-FODMAP tasty tacos!

Many Mexican dishes are automatically off the menu for FODMAPers; flour tortillas, enchiladas, burritos – but tacos, now they were made for us!! Yes, we can enjoy a good taco and that’s exactly what the following recipe is all about – taco time, in no time:

Ingredients (serves 2):
6 corn taco shells
250g mince beef
Spices – 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, pinch of chilli powder
1 bay leaf
2 handfuls of spinach
To top:
Cottage cheese 

Okay – let’s begin. In under 30 mins you’ll be sat crunching your way through some de-licious tacos.

1. Brown the mince. Once browned, add the spices and bay leaf, allowing the flavours to absorb into the mince. When cooked, have a quick taste to check that it’s to your spice-factor liking, adapting if necessary.
2. Line your taco shells with some spinach, add your beef taco mix, and finally, top with cottage cheese.
3. Crunch crunch crunch!

If you made the above for one person, rather than two, you might have some leftovers. Another great meal using the remaining mince is to bulk it out with wilted spinach – again, topped with cottage cheese when serving. THUMBS UP!

Happy crunching! xo

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Bunless Burgers: Low-FODMAP Recipe

Mmm mm homemade burgers – simple to make, delicious, extremely versatile, and the best bit? You know exactly what’s gone into them. I have to admit I was shocked by the ingredients in shop bought versions – flour, additives, more additives…GAH! Why?! No thanks, none of that – just the good stuff. I used ingredients that I already had in – the result…paprika burgers topped with feta, tomato and chives – all the best recipes are random ones after all! ;)

FullSizeRender (2)Ingredients (makes 4 good sized burgers):
500g beef mince (or alternative mince)
Smoked paprika (or alternative seasoning)
1 tomato, sliced
Crumbled feta cheese
Drizzle of olive oil

1. Break up the mince meat and add any desired extras – in my case, paprika. Mix together well, and then divide into four equal portions. Create ‘burger’ shapes.
2. Pop the burgers on a baking tray in a foil parcel – drizzle with olive oil, and add any extras – in my case, sliced tomato. Into the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked.
3. Pop the grill on, and add the burgers with the feta and chives – place under the grill for a couple of minutes until the feta has browned slightly.
4. Serve up with of sides choice – a side salad with some polenta chips, or potato salad, maybe? :)

Here’s some alternative low-FODMAP ingredients you could add…
Seasonings: Herbs (basil, mint, etc.), cumin, chilli.
Toppings: Sliced aubergine, pepper, mozzarella, camembert, cottage cheese, halloumi, olives.
Sauces: Mustard, mayonnaise.

Or you could always just have it as a conventional burger with a gluten-free bun – the options are endless!

How do you like yours? xo

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Aubergine With Mozzarella And Tomato: Low-FODMAP Recipe

Aubergine With Mozzerella And Tomato

Aubergine With Mozzerella And Tomato

…Or ‘Aubergine Melts’ as BBC Good Food calls them… and melt in the mouth they do! Five ingredients (well, six actually – I added one more), with an approximate cooking time of 30 minutes…the perfect post-work dinner, especially in the summer months.

All you need (serves 1):
1 aubergine
A drizzle of olive oil
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices of mozzarella
Fresh basil
A drizzle of lemon juice

I adapted the recipe for one, and my method slightly varies from the original – see what suits!

Topped with crispy bacon

Topped with crispy bacon

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
2. Meanwhile, halve the aubergine lengthways and score with a knife so that you can drizzle the lemon juice and oil into the gaps.
3. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes, or as long as possible so that the aubergine has softened nicely.
4. Finally, add the sliced tomato, mozzarella, and basil and pop back in the oven – finish off under the grill for that extra touch.
5. Serve with sides of choice.

If you’d like to include meat in the dish, adding grilled bacon works a treat.

I love aubergine cooked this way – so simple, so healthy…

and so delicious! xo

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Sabrina’s Story – IBS

I have met many people who have blogs and several more that do not.  No matter what, I wanted to make it easy for people to share their story, help spread awareness and give support for people living with irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), celiac disease, diverticulitis, dysmotility, gastroparesis, intestinal lymphangiectasia, small bowel obstruction, whipple’s disease, and many more.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please send me at least 200 words, plus a photo and a short bio: colleen @ boncalme . com

Your Story: Sabrina Khan

sabrina khan fodmap lifeI’m not sure if it was the bulimia that led me to having IBS or if it was just something I developed over the years, but as far as I can remember I have had severe stomach issues, cramps, spams, altered bowel movement. The thing about ‘tummy troubles’ it is not severe enough to warrant sympathy, it’s just a case of here she goes again, but the reality for those of us that deal with it regularly is it really does reduce the quality of your life!!

Now the want for that ‘perfect’ body led me being a yo yo dieter all my life, this also led to the chronic bulimia, it just seemed that I was in a constant battle with self harm, pain and food.

Being from an Asian family where spicy heavy foods, fried samosas and pakoras, wheat laden chapattis late at night, and regular sugary treats are a way of life, it became a normal way of eating and living, no wander I soon started to pile on the pounds!!

When I became a student and went to university, my IBS, (though I didn’t know what it was at the time) and eating habits and as a result the bulimia became worse. Students are after all notorious for doing all nighters, then finishing of with a greasy laden chip shop/donner meal and just generally indulging on anything and everything!!

I am pretty sure (though I haven’t read any reports to formalize this) that the constant bouts of bulimia is what lead to led to the constant acid reflux and digestive issues I had. Eventually my pains got so bad, I had to go through the various tests the medical profession put you through, when they suspect something serious and nasty, thank god anything more serious wasn’t detected, however I was placed on some really heavy antacid tablets which I later found out were not so good for me either as they literally do suppress acid, but stomach acid is good as it is one of our main defenses against harmful bacteria that enter the body!! (ref Gutbliss – Dr Robynne Chutkan)

This really was a destructive way of living, I was eating, then panicking that the foods I was eating were going to make me fat, then I’d go into bulimia mode, it was constant, both psychological and emotional trauma, and my stomach flare ups, cramps, acid, Diarrhea got worse, I was just on a path of total destruction!!

Sabrina now

Sabrina now

Years later I was also advised I had high cholesterol and I was also at risk of getting diabetes as it ran in the family, could my health get even worse? Well it seems it could as I also went through a really scary time recently thinking on top of all this I had the cancer!!

This king of self-destructive body battle, carried on until the day I decided I was going to start weight training and work out with a personal trainer. I have to say this was one of the best decisions of my life in terms of health, feeling good in every sense of the word and becoming aware about how eating clean, carrying out a truly mind focusing exercise could change your life!!

When you are focused on getting your body to look a certain way then you have to learn to eat a certain way!!

I started eating a high protein, low carb diet (which I later realized was really the kind of approach to a FODMAP diet) eliminating lots of various carbohydrates that can cause digestive distress.

I started to eliminate the foods that do on a global scale create problems for lots of people, foods such as dairy, gluten, processed foods and sugars, I stopped eating foods with ingredients lists, my whole thinking and approach around food changed completely!!

I even became knowledgeable around the fact that some of the so-called ‘healthy’ foods were not so good for you after all, they were full of sugars, cheap oils and cheap processed fillers, this kind of knowledge and working so closely with a nutritional expert really made me into one and really did expand my thinking!

This kind of discipline became addictive, the more I worked out and ate clean, the better I looked & felt, the more I wanted to carry on eating and living this way!!

I became aware and focused on putting real foods in to my body…

I became aware of having to eat regular meals…

I became aware of eating little and often, and eating 4-5 times a day….

I became aware of not skipping meals…

I became aware of how to listen to my body and what it was telling me!!

This whole way of eating and living eventually became a ‘lifestyle’ change for me. I managed not only to lose weight and keep IT OFF. The WHOLE time I was training I wasn’t having the need to throw my food up as I knew the food I was putting in my body was good for me.

Also, after 20 years of constant IBS and digestive issues, my stomach healed too, I was not getting the constant cramps, the diarrhea. For the first time in along time I really did have a truly happy belly!!

Not only that, but I got rid of my cholesterol and have managed to ward off diabetes which is prevalent in Asian families and runs in mine!  In fact this whole experience changed my life so much I want to share it with others, I really am a big advocate of weights and eating clean I set up a web TV platform where I interview experts in the areas of health and wellness and listeners are free to come and ask live questions. You may want to check it out here: http://fuelyourselffabulous.tv

Or you can check my FB site: https://www.facebook.com/FuelYourselfFabulousTV

Or my Twitter site: https://twitter.com/sabrinakhan111

Please leave comments for Sabrina, thanks!  ~ Colleen

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Feta, Strawberry, And Spinach Toast: Low-FODMAP Recipe

A short but SWEET recipe using…

STRAWBERRIES! A real ‘treat’ food in my eyes as they can be on the expensive side and don’t tend to last long (well, definitely not when I’m around!) I picked up a lovely fresh punnet of strawberries the other day from my local greengrocers and, well, they were delicious! Other than enjoying them as they come (which, let’s face it, there’s nothing better), I found a new way of enjoying them as part of a light summer lunch or snack…

FullSizeRender - Copy (5)All you need:
2 slices of gluten-free bread
A handful of spinach
Feta cheese, crumbled
4-6 strawberries (depending on size), sliced
Lemon juice (optional)
Black pepper (optional)

1. Toast the bread.
2. Layer the toast with spinach and feta, followed by the sliced strawberries – drizzle with lemon juice.
3. Pop under the grill for a couple of minutes, until the feta and strawberries have softened slightly.
4. Season with black pepper and enjoy.

I really enjoyed the combination of the sweet juicy strawberries with the mild taste of the feta – oh, and it’s easypeasylemonsqueezy to make and on your plate in a matter of minutes! See what you think :)

Strawberry love. xo

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Baked Eggs: Low-FODMAP Recipe

There are endless way to eat eggs – and here’s another to add to the list – baked! I saw this recipe on BBC Good Food and couldn’t wait to try! Oh, but wait right there…the recipe has onion, oh dear, and garlic, big oh dear. Cue the Monash University low-FODMAP app to help me adapt away (at this point I have a pretty good idea of the FODMAP-friendly foods, but having the app on hand is so very helpful to check portions, and for those forgetful moments!)

Baked Eggs: Low-FODMAP

Baked Eggs: Low-FODMAP

So, here’s what you’ll need to enjoy a FODMAP-friendly version (serves 2) of some de-licious baked eggs:
1 tbsp oil
1 chilli, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes*
2 tsp paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp cumin
Fresh basil
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
*I recommend buying better quality tins of tomatoes for a thicker sauce – the cheaper tomatoes are more watery (I used one can of each and noticed the difference)

These ingredients are just a guide – the joy of this recipe is that you can add to the tomato sauce whichever flavourings take your fancy.

1. Heat the oil in the pan. Then add the chopped chilli, red pepper and a few sprigs of fresh basil.
2. When softened, add the chopped tomatoes, paprika, cumin, and black pepper. When the flavours have mixed together, give it a taste (without burning your mouth!) and check that it is to your tastes, altering if necessary.
3. When you’re happy with the flavour, make four dips in the sauce using the back of a wooden spoon. Crack the eggs into each dip, adding a sprinkling of paprika and some more basil leaves. Don’t worry if it looks a bit messy – it’s not meant to be neat and tidy!
4. Now cover for 6-8 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking*
5. Serve up and enjoy with some gluten-free toast or potatoes, for brunch, or dinner.

*Make sure you have a frying pan with a lid, or some foil to cover the pan at step 4 – I was lid-less and wondering why the eggs weren’t cooking properly on top – duh! Foil to the rescue.

I really enjoyed this quick, healthy, and tasty dish – will definitely be making again! Just eggsellent (sorry!!) Hope you enjoy…

How do you like your eggs? xo

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Banana Bread: The Sequel. Low-FODMAP Banana-Carrot Bread

By Anna Lewin, FODMAP Journey

I promise I don’t make banana bread ALL the time! But the Banana-Sultana Bread I made was pretty delicious (if I do say so myself!) so there was only one thing to do – make it again! But this time…Banana-Carrot Bread. Warning: More-ish…

Low-FODMAP Banana-Carrot Bread - makes you go 'mmm'

Low-FODMAP Banana-Carrot Bread – makes you go ‘mmm’

This is my adapted version of a recipe from one of the booklets I received from the dietitian when I first started on the diet, courtesy of King’s College London. Their recipes ‘keep it simple’ – now that sounds familiar… very much my approach! :)

Time to cool off...

Time to cool off…

250g gluten-free self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
125g grated carrot
4 bananas
2 eggs
1 tbsp golden syrup
100ml vegetable oil
Scattering of pumpkin seeds

Sliced and ready to eat/freeze!

Sliced and ready to eat/freeze!

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Mash the bananas, then mix with the golden syrup.
2. Add to this the eggs (already whisked) and the oil. Mix everything together.
3. Add the flour and baking powder, mixing well. Finally, add the carrots and mixed spice.
4. Then pop the mixture into a lined/greased loaf tin, scattering the pumpkin seeds on top. Into the oven it goes…
5. 40 minutes later (or until cooked), take out the oven. Then allow the bread to cool – taking out of the tin after a couple of minutes of cooling.
6. When cool enough to slice (or for as long as you can wait), enjoy a taste while it’s still warm (nothing beats it!).
7. Store in an airtight tin or freeze, to enjoy again and again – I sliced before freezing for an easier life, as with the Nana-Sultana Bread!

You can see the orange tint that the bread has – and it’s all natural! The banana/carrot/mixed spice combo is a good’un. A minimal-prep, maximum flavour recipe – oh and your kitchen will smell divine!

Enjoy! xo

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TRAVELING on the Low FODMAP diet: Tips to keep the belly happy (and a simple recipe)

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Hi friends!! I am beyond STOKED to contribute to this blog :) and I want to thank Colleen for welcoming me! I hope to be able to inspire others on this FODMAP journey, maybe making life a little easier!!! Since MEMORIAL DAY is around … Continue reading

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Banana-Sultana Bread: Low-FODMAP Recipe

By Anna Lewin, FODMAP Journey

*Before I begin, please note: This recipe contains sultanas – there is differing information about the FODMAP content of sultanas, and further investigation is yet to be carried out. If in doubt, replace with dried cranberries, or another suitable FODMAP-friendly fruit.

This banana bread is everything banana bread should be: BANANA-TASTIC!

Get in my tum!

Get in my tum!

The recipe is from one of the booklets I received from the dietitian when I first started on the diet, courtesy of King’s College London, and one I have to share as it’s just so yum! It ticks all the boxes; adaptable,  low-FODMAP, simple, quick to make, inexpensive, freezable, and very more-ish! I added my own little touch with the lemon juice and poppy seeds…

With added lemon juice and poppy seeds...

With added lemon juice and poppy seeds…

250g gluten-free self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
125g sultanas*
4 bananas
2 eggs
1 tbsp golden syrup
100ml vegetable oil

To add after cooking (optional):
A healthy dash of lemon juice
A sprinkling of poppy seeds

Sliced and ready to freeze, or eat...

Sliced and ready to freeze, or eat…

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Mash the bananas, then mix with the golden syrup.
2. Add to this the eggs (already whisked) and the oil. Mix everything together.
3. Add the dry ingredients, mixing well.
4. Then pop the mixture into a lined/greased loaf tin. Into the oven it goes…
5. 40 minutes  later (or until cooked), take out the oven. Add the lemon juice and poppy seeds at this point. Then allow the bread to cool – taking out of the tin after a couple of minutes of cooling.
6. When cool enough to slice (or for as long as you can wait), enjoy a taste while it’s still warm (nothing beats it!) I had a slice (or two) with peanut butter and sliced fresh strawberries (with a nice cuppa, of course).
7. Store in an airtight tin or freeze, to enjoy again and again – I sliced before freezing for an easier life!

Homemade low-FODMAP banana bread with peanut butter and strawberries - delicious!

Homemade low-FODMAP banana bread with peanut butter and strawberries – delicious!

Something tells me I’ll be making more of this…
Happy Banana-Breading! xo

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SUGAR Could Be the Reason for Your GAS – FODMAP Life

Sugars make up the simplest form of carbohydrates.  There is a classification of these carbs called FODMAPs which have been proven to cause gastrointestinal discomfort because they are poorly broken down and fermented in the small intestine.  These FODMAPs are found in fruits, vegetables, dairy products, candy, table sugar, sugar alcohols and food additives.

Learn more about FODMAPs here.


Sugar intolerances can cause different symptoms, depending on the particular type of sugar.  Gas-producing bacteria in the GI tract love sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup.  If you’re not careful enough, you might be ingesting high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) by way of sodas, candies, breads, cakes, dairy, crackers, cough syrups, relish, bakes beans, ice cream, jams, jellies, syrups, salad dressings, sauces and more.  HFCS is a FODMAP and one of many sugars to cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Candida is a yeast specie that also loves to chow down on sugar, and too much can lead to dysbiosis, which is a bacterial imbalance and a major cause of bloating. Dysbiosis has been associated with illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, cancer and colitis.  According to an article in the Huffington Post by Corrie Pikul, quoting Robynne Chutkan MD, a Maryland-based gastroenterologist and the author of Gutbliss: A 10-Day Plan to Ban Bloat, Flush Toxins, and Dump Your Digestive Baggage, “the amount (of sugar) that most of us can comfortably process in a day is only about 50 grams (a 12-ounce can of cola has 33 grams; a drinkable low-fat yogurt could have 22 grams). Chutkan says that about one-third of the population has something called fructose malabsorption, which means that an excess of about 25 grams of sugar is fermented by colonic bacteria — and results in lots of stinky gas.”

Those with fructose malabsorption can benefit from an elimination diet like the low-FODMAP diet because the diet eliminates fructose as well as other sugars in addition to fructose.  If you have fructose malabsorption it means you have trouble completely absorbing fructose in your small intestine, and the undigested fructose is then carried to the colon where normal bacteria rapidly devour it.  The bacteria then produce gases which cause the intestine to swell.  The most common symptoms are distention, bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea and some people may also experience fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and mood changes.  The undigested particles of fructose may also be the cause for diarrhea.

To learn more about Fructose Malabsorption, download my free and informative Infographic on this page!


If you have diarrhea, read food labels so that you can avoid sorbitol which is a Polyol and FODMAP.  This artificial sweetener causes digestive problems and is also a hard-to-digest sugar found naturally in some fruits, including prunes, apples, and peaches, and its also used to sweeten gum and diet foods. Once sorbitol reaches the large intestine, it often creates gas, bloating, and diarrhea.  Other sugar alcohols and FODMAPs that can be hard to digest are mannitol, maltitol, xylitol and isomalt.


When people with lactose intolerance ingest the sugar lactose found in milk and other dairy products, it isn’t digested properly and causes symptoms of gas and bloating. Consuming too much lactose (a FODMAP), sends it into the large intestine, where diarrhea can develop or worsen.  Lactose intolerance is also called lactose malabsorption, and its where a person has a deficiency of lactase — an enzyme produced in your small intestine.  Symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating and gas can occur within 30 minutes to two hours after ingesting lactose.


Having digestive problems and love chocolate?  It’s time to be more selective with your beloved chocolate treats.  Chocolate can cause different types of digestive issues, including heartburn and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Know What Sugar is Called

Common names for sugar include brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses, polyols, raw sugar, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol, turbinado sugar, and xylitol.


  • Do you always get dessert when out to dinner or always have it at home at night?  Start out by only having dessert on odd days of the week, then make it down to once a week, and cut down more if you can. Opt to slowly sip some decaf tea.
  • Skip energy bars and drinks.  Buy water with electrolytes, and eat natural foods with natural energy boosters.
  • Opt for low-sugar breakfast cereals and oatmeals.
  • If you get a craving, get up and grab a glass of water, then go for a walk or complete a task!
  • Don’t keep any ice cream, cookies or other desserts at home.  Someone offering you birthday cake leftovers to take home?  Kindly refuse the offer.
  • You don’t need extra sugar.  Read food labels for hidden sugars in cough syrups, dressings, spreads, peanut butter, breakfast cereals, soda, chewing gum, mints, tomato sauce, ketchup, baked beans, and lunch meats.
  • Don’t deprive yourself – if you really need to feed your sugar fix, have half of what you would normally and stick to it.  Buy smaller squares of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  Have some delicious low-FODMAP fruits.
  • You may know Mark Hyman, MD.  These are some of his very helpful tips for balancing your blood sugar: Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with LOWER overall blood flow to the brain, which means more BAD decisions. To keep your blood sugar stable:
    • Eat a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shakes, or nut butters. Studies repeatedly show that eating a healthy breakfast helps people maintain weight loss.
    • Also, have smaller meals throughout the day. Eat every 3-4 hours and have some protein with each snack or meal (lean animal protein, nuts, seeds, beans).
    • Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime.

Choosing Chocolate per Monash University

  • Dark chocolate (low-fodmap) 1 serving = 5 squares or 30 g
  • Milk chocolate (moderate fodmap) 1 serving = 5 squares or 30 g – Lactose is the fodmap
  • White chocolate (moderate fodmap) 1 serving = 5 squares or 30 g – Lactose is the fodmap
  • Avoid large servings of chocolate. Chocolate is high in fat, and when consumed in excess can affect gut motility and may trigger symptoms.
  • Avoid carob chocolate. Carob powder is high in oligos (fructans), and much higher than cocoa powder (as reported by Monash University).

Make an appointment with your doctor if you frequently have any of the symptoms listed above and ask to be tested for lactose intolerance, fructose intolerance, sorbitol intolerance, celiac disease and also ask for your doctor to rule out small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).   Then contact me so we can work on an approach together to help you with your diet and lifestyle!

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Recipe: Low-FODMAP and Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken with Spinach over Jasmine Rice

Fresh from the kitchen of Life and Thymez check out Zlata’s low-FODMAP recipe!  If you have a recipe or personal story you’d like to share about the low-FODMAP diet, please contact me for consideration to become a contributor!

Low-FODMAP and Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken with Spinach over Jasmine Rice

3 cups spinach
1 cup Jasmine Rice
2 cups water or Low-FODMAP chicken broth

1 cup Low-FODMAP chicken broth (Progresso Tuscany)
2 TBSP gluten-free tamari
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP garlic olive oil
2 TBSP rice vinegar
2 TBSP sesame oil

1lb chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 TBSP gluten free flour
Olive oil for the frying pan


1. Cook rice according to package, replacing water with Low FODMAP chicken broth if desired.
2. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, brown sugar, tamari sauce, garlic olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.
3. Wash and cut chicken into equal sized pieces.
4. Season with salt and pepper and place into a Ziploc® bag.
5. Add flour and shake around to coat.
6. Heat olive oil in pan and place chicken until it’s browned, about 5-7 minutes.Turn over and cook more, also about 5-7 minutes.
7. Add brown sauce and turn heat to medium-low to continue cooking chicken. The sauce will begin to thicken or alternately, you can also use cornstarch to thicken.
8. Add spinach and mix until wilted.

Top with sesame seeds. (Optional). Scoop chicken out onto rice and serve.

Learn more about Zlata here.

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#IBSAwarenessMonth Low-FODMAP Book Giveaway!


There’s still time left for you to spread awareness about #IBSAwarenessMonth !  We are currently holding a contest on Facebook and Instagram (one winner will win from each).  All you have to do is comment with your biggest Low-FODMAP challenge and a winner will be selected at random to win The Everything Guide To The Low-Fodmap Diet: A Healthy Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders by Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley, CPC.  U.S. residents only please.  

I am so excited to be working with Dr. Bolen and Kathleen to help spread awareness for their book and put it into good hands for the people who need it most.  With this book you can learn how to:

  • Understand food allergies and intolerance
  • Identify high- and low-FODMAP foods
  • Eliminate FODMAP sources from your diet
  • Stock your pantry for success
  • Create your own personalized diet based on your unique needs
  • Re-create favorite recipes using low-FODMAP ingredients

Learn MORE bout the book below!

How to Spread the Word About IBS

  • Take part in our giveaway and share it with friends and family asking them to enter as well!
  • In 1997, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) designated April as IBS Awareness Month. During this time, they work to focus their attention on important health messagesaboutIBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.  They ask you to get involved by doing things like:
  • Get involved on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr) and use these hashtags to find other people just like you! #ibsawarenessmonth #IBS #lowfodmap #lowfodmapdiet #tummytroubles
  • Share our social pages and blog with people you know who have IBS so they can learn about the low-FODMAP diet
  • If you think you have IBS, become your own health advocate and empower yourself!  Ask your doctor to:
    1. To get blood work to rule out celiac disease
    2. To take an HBT test (hydrogen breath test) – to check for a fructose, lactose or polyol absorption problem and to rule out SIBO
    3. To give you a proper diagnosis to utilize the low-FODMAP diet

Facts About IBS

iBS AWARENESS FODMAPSDid you know that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects over 58 million (1 in 7) Americans and in developed countries, it may affect up to 1 in 5 adults(1)!  The cause of IBS is still unknown, but experts believe symptoms of IBS are brought on by a disruption to the interaction between brain, nervous system and gut and that food, stress and/or a person’s environment can act as “triggers” for symptoms.

IBS is more common in Western style diets where there’s more refined foods, GMOs and additives.  These crappy food choices play a role in inflammation and gut health and our bodies were never meant to try and decode them for digestion.  If your body could speak it probably would say: “What the &%$# is that?  Are you trying to trick me?”

Why do these crappy foods potentially trigger disease and gives us all sorts of reactions and complications?  It’s because 70% of the body’s immune system (your first line of defense) is connected to the digestive tract.  So throwing garbage food into your digestive system makes it even harder for your body to do the rest of its job – like fight off free radicals and foreign invaders.  Eat as many nutrient-rich foods as possible and remember that crappy food choices tend to make IBS symptoms worse and the rest of the population – sick, tired and moody!

IBS is more common in women then men

Many people are too embarrassed to get treatment or ask for help

There is no “cure” for IBS, however, it can be treated and symptoms can improve if an IBS patient works with their doctor.  A gastroenterologist, family doctor, or general practitioner can help to rule out possible causes from the patient’s past and current health history, and there are different blood and breath tests to try.  The next step is to work with a qualified professional trained in digestive health issues to carefully plan and manage the patient’s diet and lifestyle.  Examples of people who can help are: Certified Nutritionists or others trained in nutrition (like a Holistic Health Practitioner, Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, etc.) or a Registered Dietitian.  If stress seems to be playing a large role in IBS symptoms, opt for cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, yoga and/or meditation.

Remember to enter our giveaway to win this helpful book!


The Everything Guide To The Low-Fodmap Diet: A Healthy Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders

by Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley, CPC.

BUY this book now!  Just click here.

Here’s a description of the book as told by the authors:

If you suffer with symptoms of IBS, you know that digestive troubles and pain can disrupt your day-to-day life. Fortunately, researchers have come up with a new treatment plan to help you control symptoms: a low-FODMAP diet. FODMAPs are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates that are difficult to digest and found in many common foods, like wheat, milk, beans, and some vegetables, fruits, and sweeteners. The Everything Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet walks you through the step-by-step process for identifying your individual sensitivities–and gives you options and substitutions so you can enjoy your favorite foods again.

AuthorsPrintDr. Barbara Bolen, an IBS specialist, provides advice and tips for developing a personalized and realistic healthy eating plan. And with 150 low-FODMAP and gluten-free recipes, you can reduce digestive distress and feel great while enjoying satisfying and nutritious meals!

Thank you again to Dr. Bolen and Kathleen for writing this book and running a giveaway with me!

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Sources: IBS.org, IFFGD.org, (1) McFarland LV. State-of-the-art of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease research in 2008. World J Gastroenterol. 2008;14(17):2625-9. Hungin APS, Whorwell PJ, Tack J, Mearin F. The prevalence, patterns and impact of irritable bowel syndrome: an international survey of 40 000 subjects. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003; 17(5):643-50.

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All About Fiber and the Low-FODMAP Diet

Healthy Homemade Oatmeal With BerriesAs a Certified Nutritionist I can tell you about the food you can eat while you are on the Elimination Phase of the low-FODMAP diet – and that you may consider consuming foods rich in fiber and low in FODMAPs instead of taking a fiber supplement.  This way you may actually receive a more accurate reading on what’s causing your symptoms, as fiber supplements could be the culprit.

Do We Need Extra Fiber?

Fiber is exclusively a plant nutrient and plants need fiber in order to stand up tall or keep their shape.  And simply put, whenever we eat more plant-based foods, we increase our fiber!  Eating low-FODMAP fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans (green) will help to naturally increase fiber, as well as give us phytonutrients and antioxidants which have been said to prevent disease and keep your body working properly.

We have learned from our mothers that fiber is very important to help keep things “moving” and it’s true – but only for some.  The problem, is that for people with digestive issues, sometimes fiber or too much, even from supplements can cause painful symptoms.  
Getting enough fiber could help prevent obesity, lower your risk of diabetes (helps control blood sugar levels) and heart disease (lower cholesterol levels) and help with constipation.  Be wary of what you hear from the media, doctors or The Whole Grains Council – like this statement “a high intake of cereal fiber (the fiber from grain foods) was associated with a 19% lower risk of death from all causes, and a 25-34% lower risk of disease specific deaths.”  Good thing if you are following the low-FODMAP diet because you won’t need to rely on cereal for fiber or any packaged food for that matter.  Eating more veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and wheat-free foods are far more beneficial than eating the types of cereal and other grains that are most consumed and familiar to the general public and unfortunately don’t have the nutritional profile they once did.
If you have the need to feel FULL you can go for low-FODMAP (choose NON-GMO) carbs like these:
  • Quinoa which is low-FODMAP, a seed (not a grain) and it’s a complete protein.  1 cup cooked = 12 grams of dietary fiber!
  • Brown rice – 1 cup cooked = 3.5 grams of dietary fiber
  • Cooked oats (quick dry).  Stick to a 1/4 cup serving = 4 grams of dietary fiber
  • Polenta –  1 cup cooked = 7.3 grams of dietary fiber
  • Buckwheat Kernels – Stick to a 1/8 cup serving = 2.1 grams of dietary fiber
  • Flakes of Corn (gluten free) – 3/4 cup = 4 grams of dietary fiber
I believe the most important step anyone can take is to drink plenty of water and eat foods high in vitamins and nutrients like fruits and veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats.  And if you have IBS, make sure you have both raw and cooked veggies, as just consuming raw could trigger symptoms.Woman Having Abdominal Pain

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

Fruits and vegetables are the best ways to get your soluble (and insoluble) fiber.  There are benefits to both soluble and insoluble fiber, but keep in mind, most HIGH FODMAP foods are made of soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water.  It attracts water and form a gel, which slows down digestion. The emptying of your stomach is delayed and soluble fiber makes you feel full.  Low-FODMAP examples of foods with soluble fiber are: blueberries, oranges, eggplant, carrots, grapefruit (1/4 or less), potatoes; oatmeal (1/4 cup), oat bran, brown rice, tofu, flax and sunflower seeds (2 tablespoons), canned chickpeas (1/4 cup) and canned lentils (1/2 cup).

Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water and they pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speed up the passage of food and waste through your gut. These are great for people with IBS-C.  Insoluble fibers are considered beneficial fiber for the gut because of the laxative effect and they add bulk to the diet, helping prevent constipation.  Low-FODMAP examples of foods with insoluble fiber are: seeds (2 tablespoons), nuts (no cashews or pistachios), brown rice, zucchini, celery (1/4 stalk), broccoli (1/2 cup), cabbage (common), tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, grapes, and potato skins.

What Types of Supplements May Help Constipation?

If you absolutely have to take a supplement look for those made with Psyllium husk.  It has shown to be effective in treating constipation and IBS symptoms.  Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LD, Medical Nutrition Therapist and FODMAP expert says: “I tend to recommend those (fiber supplements) made of psyllium husk, starting with a very small serving and increasing slowly over time. Supplements made of cellulose are also worth trying, since cellulose is not fermentable.”  Citrucel  is a good fiber supplement for the low-FODMAP diet because it is non-fermentable.  *I am not a fan of aspartame or maltodextrin (and other synthetic or processed ingredients in Citrucel) so even though it helps IBS, I’d just like to point out that it is not all-natural like organic whole psyllium husk.

Fiber Supplements HIGH in FODMAPs

If you have IBS or another FGID (functional gastrointestinal disorder) and are currently taking a fiber supplement, chances are it may be made with functional fibers like inulin or oligofructose.  These prebiotic ingredients can influence beneficial bacteria to grow and can improve immunity or gastrointestinal health for some, but for people like you and me, it could mean the train has stopped and is not leaving the station…Be aware of fiber supplements made with the following or any packaged food that boasts “High in Fiber” with these ingredients:
  • Inulin – mostly obtained from chicory root or Jerusalem artichoke; chicory root extract.  Inulin is a HIGH FODMAP.
  • Beet fiber, corn fiber, soy fiber, citrus fiber
  • Carrageenan is a water-soluble fiber found in certain types of seaweed.
  • Guar Gum guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum.  It is used as a thickener and a binder.  Side effects include increased gas production, diarrhea, and loose stools.  Don’t take/useguargumifyouhave a condition that causes obstruction or narrowing of your esophagus or intestine.
    • Some of our fans of Fodmap Life and experts of IBS have said that carrageenan, guar gum and other gums such as acacia, xanthan, and locust bean have caused them symptoms.  You’ll find these in non-dairy milks, snack bars, yogurts and ice cream.  *These have not been analyzed for FODMAPs yet so please do not be confused, as they are not currently on the HIGH FODMAPs list.
  • Other functional fibers that you will find in foods are: pectin, chitosan, cellulose, methylcellulose, beta-gucans, polydextrose, resistant dextrins, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) used as an alternative sweetener, and acacia fibers.
  • In the article “Functional Fibers — Research Shows They Provide Health Benefits Similar to Intact Fibers in Whole Foods” by Constance Brown-Riggs, she says that “research suggests that when added fibers, such as soluble corn fiber, polydextrose, and soluble fiber dextrin (also known as resistant dextrin), are added to foods, they can help consumers increase their fiber intake without concerns about GI distress and, at the same time, confer health benefits associated with naturally occurring intact fiber sources.”  **Patsy Catsos MS, RDN, LD recommends not consuming corn fiber while on the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet.

Ingredient Label for Linex, a Fiber Supplement

Some Low-FODMAP Fiber Sources:Oranges Raspberries Blackberries And Bananas On White

  • Oranges, raspberries, ripe bananas.  Everything pictured above is low-FODMAP BUT the blackberries – just 5 are HIGH in FODMAPs
  • Corn, potatoes (with skin), carrots, spinach
  • Brown rice and brown rice products
  • Rice bran (2 tablespoons)
  • Oatmeal (1/2 cup cooked)
  • Oat bran (2 tablespoons)
  • Quinoa
  • Nuts and nut butters (one handful or 2 tablespoons–no cashews or pistachios)
  • Seeds and seed butters (one handful or 2 tablespoons)
  • Canned, drained, lentils (1/2 cup)
  • Chia seeds, whole or ground (2 tablespoons)
  • Tempeh (3 ounces)

Tips for Getting More Fiber

  • Eat whole low-FODMAP fruits instead of drinking fruit juices (high in FODMAPs).
  • Replace white rice with brown rice products when ever possible
  • When buying gluten-free cereal keep in mind many options are low in fiber, so be sure you have a serving of low-FODMAP fruits with your cereal
  • When you’re bored at work, running around with the kids or on the go, snack on low-FODMAP veggies like carrots.  1 large carrot has 2 grams of dietary fiber.

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Sources: WebMD , Monash University, Patsy Catsos, WebMD (soluble fiber)
The information in this post is not to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your own physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.
Posted in FODMAP Diet, FODMAP How To, IBS, Supplements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Easter! Low-FODMAP Carrot Cake Recipe

How to Make: Low-FODMAP Carrot Cake

Wheat-free, gluten-free, lactose-free and delicious!

WATCH the video!

This recipe is very easy to make and it’s low in FODMAPs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

CAKE Ingredients:

1 cup Coconut Oil
1 1/3 cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
2 TBS Almond Meal
3 Cups Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Flour
1 cup chopped Walnuts
4 cups Shredded Carrots
1 tsp Gluten-Free Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Allspice

FROSTING Ingredients:

4 TBS Butter
2/3 cup of Lactose-free Cream Cheese
Zest of 1 lemon & juice of 1/2 lemon
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

CAKE Directions:

1. Using a large bowl, beat together oil,
sugar and eggs.
2. Fold in the rest of the ingredients
3. Pour batter into cake pan and bake
on middle shelf for 1 hour 10 minutes
4. Remove from oven and cool on a
wire rack for 20 minutes.

FROSTING Directions:

1. Use an electric mixer and beat
together butter, cream cheese, lemon
zest and juice.
2. Gradually add the confectioners’
sugar, little by little.
3. Spread on top of the cooled carrot

Hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did – be sure to SHARE with your friends!

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(c) BonCalme LLC All Rights Reserved

Posted in FODMAP Diet, FODMAP How To, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

FODMAP – Fructans

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

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

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

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

Where is Gluten Found?

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

If you have any questions please comment below!

Stay Connected! 

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder

Posted in FODMAP Diet, FODMAP Facts, FODMAP How To, Gluten-Free, WHEAT | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

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: http://www.designkf.com/category/designs/

Stay Connected! 

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder

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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.

  • Sign up for our Newsletter
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  • 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


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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: https://www.facebook.com/fodmaplife

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

Now read up on these!

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

Here’s to your health!

Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder

colleen frnacioli

Posted in FODMAP Diet, FODMAP Facts, FODMAP How To | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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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The Bad Guys: Sorbitol, Maltitol

Sometimes I just need a mint to hold me over when I am working or for obvious reasons, to have fresh breath.

Unfortunately for us IBS sufferers there are too many products made with sorbitol, maltitol or other sugar alcohols ending in “ol.” Sometimes its just not worth it to pop a couple in my mouth because I can have bloating that carries on for days!

Trader Joe's Mints!

Trader Joe’s Mints!

So I came across Trader Joe’s Organic Peppermints.  The ingredients are: organic cane sugar, organic tapioca syrup, water, peppermint oil, organic maple syrup, organic peppermint leaves, agar, and gum tragacanth.

I have not experienced any problems so far, and, as the University of Maryland’s Medical Center states: “peppermint relaxes the muscles that allow painful digestive gas to pass.  According to the center, “Several studies have shown that enteric coated peppermint capsules can help treat symptoms of IBS, such as pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.”  Enteric is a coating that lets capsules pass through the stomach intact and dissolve in the intestines.  “Enteric coated capsules keep peppermint oil from being released in the stomach, which can cause heartburn and indigestion.”  I have not had any problems with the peppermint oil in these Trader Joe’s mints, but if you do, try Altoids or look for gluten-free mints for sale online.  I’ve seen some of these in my local Sprout’s, Jimbo’s and Whole Foods stores: naturalcandystore.com

peppermint leavesI have also heard that chewing peppermint leaves helps freshen breath, but who wants to carry them around in a purse/pocket? :)

By the way, you must be wondering what agar and gum tragacanth must be?  I looked them up (I like to know every single ingredient if I buy anything in a package):

Agar – “is a gelatinous substance derived by boiling a polysaccharide in red algae, where it accumulates in the cell walls of agarophyte and serves as the primary structural support for the algae’s cell walls.” “Throughout history into modern times, agar has been chiefly used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Asia and also as a solid substrate to contain culture medium for microbiological work. It can be used as a laxative, an appetite suppressant, vegetarian gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, in fruit preserves,ice cream, and other desserts, as a clarifying agent in brewing, and for sizing paper and fabrics.”

Gum tragacanth – a white or reddish plant gum used in the food, textile, and pharmaceutical industries. Wiki: “Gum tragacanth is a viscous, odorless, tasteless, water-soluble mixture ofpolysaccharides obtained from sap which is drained from the root of the plant and dried.”

All sound safe and natural to me.  Have a great weekend!

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Valentine’s Day Low-FODMAP Sirloin Tip Roast

Red meat isn’t something I eat on a regular basis; it’s never been a food that I’ve craved often.  I am more into chicken and turkey or any kind of seafood.  I think it’s due to the fact that lean meats and fish have just been historically good to my gut.  With that said I don’t consider myself really good at cooking red meat, though I am making an effort because I am after all, married to someone who’s culture is largely made up of meat-eating happy dancing people…can you guess the country?  One hint – they dance the samba :).

Valentine’s Day always makes me think of steak and red wine.  I’m not sure why.  Could it be from all the advertisements growing up or what I’ve seen in the movies?  That romance means dining at steakhouses?  Italian food also makes me think of romance.  My husband were both on solo trips when we met in Rome and we had a very romantic affair with food and wine – we drank tons of red wine and enjoyed tons of Tajarini Al Tartufo and nutella.  Ahhh the days before my low-FODMAP Life!

Wondering what low-FODMAP foods you can enjoy on Valentine’s Day?  Take a look at my tips from last year

So in the spirit of our LOVE holiday coming up, I created and tested my recipe for Low-FODMAP Sirloin Tip Roast with some zucchini and tomato quinoa (recipe below) and my husband and I enjoyed a little Cabernet Sauvignon from my friend Bridget who is a Certified Sommelier and currently working towards her Advanced Sommelier exam (lots and lots of nerdy wine knowledge and tasting needed).  Side story – I met Bridget while working at a wine shop in San Diego.  One day while stacking bottles we managed to figure out that we had both once lived in Boston, in the same exact areas, on the same street and in the exact same apartment but lived there at different times!  We’ve had many other things in common since then (like buying the same exact pair of purple heels  – how many times will you buy purple shoes in your life?) and Swanson Vineyards is one of them.  It’s probably one of her favorite vineyards and it’s the location my husband chose to ask me to marry him – on her birthday no less.  My husband didn’t plan where he was going to ask me to marry him, it was just that everything at Swanson was perfect.  I had tried some wines before actually visiting Swanson but the experience being there was ethereal.  Imagine sitting underneath swaying maple trees next to a french-looking barn with an all-women staff walking around in long bohemian dresses, filling glasses and placing chocolate on your table.  You can smell and see pink roses peaking around the corners of the barn and a man with a raspy voice playing an old instrument and singing in French (we were told later he was the voice for the French car in the movie Cars).

If you are making a trip to Napa definitely go and see Swanson but call ahead for a tasting reservation.  Also I need to note that Vosges is one of my top favorite chocolate brands (from Chicago) and they make the Alexis bonbons offered at Swanson – grab a box of those too!

Low-FODMAP Sirloin Tip Roast and Zucchini Tomato Quinoa


  1. In a small bowl, mix paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. Stir in olive oil, and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Place roast on prepared baking sheet, and spread herb and spice mixture on all sides using a spoon.
  4. Roast 1 hour in preheated oven, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145°F. Let sit 15 minutes before slicing into long thin slices.
  5. Meanwhile while roast is in oven, prepare quinoa.  Place quinoa in a pot with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil then turn heat to low and cover.  Peel and cut up zucchini into small chunks.  Add to pot along with tomatoes and olive oil.  Cook for 10-15 minutes or until quinoa is tender.  Serve with a cabernet sauvignon or a pinot noir and enjoy some dark chocolate (5 squares or 30 grams) for dessert!  Enjoy lovers!!

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Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme

colleen frnacioli

Posted in IBS, Low FODMAP, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vanilla extracts: Alcohol vs Alcohol-free

A Raw Story

There seems to be an ongoing fixation on alcohol-free vanilla extract in the raw food world. To one aspect of it, I can understand the approach to a sense of ‘purism’ of it, though, I find it somewhat over-emphasised and exaggerated, causing people to fanatically searching out of their way for it with very little understanding. So let me share with you what I have learnt from Rully, a lovely vanilla-expert-lady from the company I work for, whom I have been endlessly consulting (or annoying her) with, in choosing superior vanilla bean types for Q’s extracts and whole beans.

The development of alcohol-free vanilla extracts is really for those who cannot or do not wish to tolerate alcohol into their diets (i.e. halal labeling purposes). Alcoholic vanilla extracts do not mean they are inferior to alcohol-free ones; on the contrary, they are far more superior in terms of the extraction…

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