Most likely you’re here at FODMAP Life because your doctor just put you on the low-FODMAP diet. You are hungry.  Busy.  You need snacks.   You need options!  I understand totally.  While I am no longer following the different phases of the low-FODMAP diet, and instead on a modified low-FODMAP diet, I know what it’s like to feel as though options for food are slim.  IBS can still be an issue for me, so I need gut-friendly, low-FODMAP options as I go about my day.

A few years ago no FODMAP friendly or certified low-FODMAP products were available.  Now, welcome to the end of 2016 where we now have more options, and we now have more FODMAP-friendly products!  And 2017 is going to be a great year for the low-FODMAP community.

rachel-pauls-happy-barsOne of the newest brands to hit the low-FODMAP scene is Rachel Pauls Food.  The first products they’ve debuted are Happy Bars – and these bars are made just for people like you and I with symptoms of IBS!

Take part in my Happy Bars giveaway!  Scroll down to learn more!

Yes these Happy Bars may just really make you, or at least your gut -happy! Some snack bars are dry and crumbly and lack deliciousness, but I found Happy Bars to be moist, chewy, and flavorful.  My favorite flavor is the Chocolate Chip Delight Happy Bar, and my second favorite is the Peanut Chocolate Euphoria Happy Bar.  After savoring every bite of these bars, no ugly symptoms of IBS appeared, and that’s great peace of mind for someone like me who balances being a mom, an author, blogger, recipe developer, educator and entrepreneur.

So who can we thank for Happy Bars?  

We can thank Dr. Rachel Pauls, founder of Rachel Pauls Food.  Dr. Pauls is a board-certified surgeon, a mother of three and a mission-driven entrepreneur. While thriving in her medical practice and establishing herself as an internationally renowned lecturer and researcher, Dr. Pauls embraced a new challenge after following a low-FODMAP food plan, based on foods that do not trigger gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, to eliminate her own symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. She has now embarked on a mission to raise public awareness of FODMAPs and to offer delicious, healthy, natural low-FODMAP foods to those who experience digestive discomfort.

Rachel Pauls’ inspiration for Happy Bars came after a long search for a great tasting, low-FODMAP energy bar. Since she couldn’t find any, she decided to make her own!  Check out my interview with Dr. Pauls:

Colleen Francioli: At what moment did you know you had to create a low-FODMAP energy bar?

Dr. Rachel Pauls: I’m a mom, a surgeon and researcher with IBS. A low-FODMAP diet changed my life, making me feel healthy and energetic again after suffering through years of IBS symptoms. But I really missed the convenience of having a great-tasting energy bar that I could toss in my bag or pocket, since I’m always on the go.  When I spoke with patients and friends who follow a low-FODMAP diet, one comment resonated with me: “I don’t enjoy food anymore.” I knew that it didn’t have to be that way! I had great success in the kitchen creating low-FODMAP meals for myself and my family; I was confident I could come up with a yummy, healthy energy bar for everyone to enjoy…and so Happy Bars were born!

CF: Did anyone else help you develop the delicious taste and texture of Happy Bars?

RP: Thank you for the compliment! My mission was to make Happy Bars delicious, healthy and low FODMAP. Developing them was an extensive creative process that involved many people.  I started with blind taste tests among focus groups with a variety of commercially available energy bars to determine what textures, tastes and nutritional composition people really desired.  Then I went back to my kitchen and tinkered with many different recipes.  After several months, I had four delectable Happy Bars flavors that everyone loved!  But it didn’t end there. Following a comprehensive review of FODMAP research from independent scientific journals, I decided to work with a respected FDA-registered and accredited food-testing laboratory to develop a validated process to analyze food for FODMAPs. Our laboratory is the only known U.S. facility testing for FODMAPs and verifies all Happy Bars are low FODMAP.  When you see the Dr. Rachel Pauls Low-FODMAP Seal of Approval, it means that we have assured through rigorous testing that the product has been scientifically analyzed and verified as low FODMAP and contains less than 0.5 grams of total FODMAPs per serving.

CF: When did you learn about FODMAPs and the low-FODMAP diet?

RP: About five years ago, I was regularly experiencing the symptoms associated with IBS: gas, bloating, diarrhea etc. After over a year of trying many medications, over-the- counter treatments, and holistic therapies, it was apparent that my diet seemed responsible. Nothing else seemed to make a difference. However, I couldn’t figure out which foods were the triggers!  So I began to review the medical research for treatment options and discovered the well-documented benefits of a low-FODMAP diet for IBS sufferers. As soon as I read about the diet, I knew I had to try it. I immediately revamped our pantry to align with the program. It took a while to get the hang of it, but it was totally worthwhile. The improvement in how I felt was amazing!

CF: How long did you experience symptoms of IBS?

RP: I experienced symptoms for over five years before I discovered a low-FODMAP diet.

CF: What is your favorite low-FODMAP lunch or dinner?

RP: I’m fond of many different foods, but probably my favorite lunch (for a special treat) is sushi. Otherwise, I love a beautiful, colorful salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots, turkey, egg, sunflower seeds and oil/vinegar dressing.  For dinner, I like baked chicken or fish with a flavorful sauce alongside rice, potatoes or quinoa. I plan to share many great recipes with my audience this year through my blog.  I enjoy one of my Happy Bars every day for breakfast. It’s also my go-to snack after lunch or mid-afternoon. They keep me satisfied and my energy high throughout the day, which I really need!

CF: Can you share a hint about other low-FODMAP products in development right now?

RP: Stay tuned; 2017 will be a big year for us. We are expanding into several different convenience-food categories. We have a great team working to bring new yummy low-FODMAP products to market; our team includes people involved in recipe development, manufacturing, marketing, order fulfillment and laboratory analysis.

Get a Happy Tummy for the Holidays!

The holidays can be a wonderful time but they can also be stressful, triggering symptoms of IBS.  Make your way through this holiday season with a delicious low-FODMAP snack that won’t upset your tummy!

Enter my Happy Bars Giveaway for your chance to win a variety box of 12 bars!  I just love the Chocolate Chip Delight Happy Bar and the other three yummy flavors!

instagram-contest-rachel-paulsFind this post on @FODMAPLife’s Facebook or Instagram, comment below it and follow @fodmaplife & @rachelpaulsfood

Log on to Facebook then click here to enter to win

OR

Log on to Instagram then click here to enter to win

Two winners will be chosen, one from Facebook and one from Instagram. U.S. residents only please. One entry per person. Winners must respond within 48 hours to claim prizes. Winners’ names will be tagged in the giveaway posts.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Thank you Rachel Pauls Food for sponsoring this post and our giveaway.

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Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

cropped-bec_6825.jpgBe good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme