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!

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Have a great rest of your day!

Colleen Francioli

colleen frnacioliCertified Nutritionist Consultant