If you’ve already started the low-FODMAP diet you may have learned that eating a huge breakfast, lunch or dinner has not been very beneficial to your GI tract. That overloading it with too much food (and probably too many FODMAPs) hinders your digestion and triggers symptoms of IBS and well as fatigue. There’s a solution to not eating huge meals – eating smaller meals and looking forward to healthy snacking!
About stuffing yourself silly…I think most of us have been taught to eat until we are full but actually, it’s better to eat until you are 50-75% full so you can leave some room not only for the digestion process but to also give your brain some time to send the signal to your gut “hey, let’s simmer down now, I think you’ve ate enough buddy!” I know I was taught to eat until I was full.
I remember being a skinny little girl and my parents were somewhat worried because I didn’t eat a lot or everything that was on my plate. I often remember looking down at my plate and feeling full and not wanting more! At one chicken parmesan dinner, my Italian/Irish Dad decided to say he’d pay me $25 if I finished everything. Of course I would! $25 was the jackpot for a nine year old (at least in the 80’s; not sure about kids now). So from that point on, I would finish everything on my plate, and eat fast, but have learned over the years it’s not the wisest way to eat (especially if you have IBS). With Italian-American families you eat everything on your plate otherwise you’d be threatened by grandma with a smackdown (and let’s not forget eating pig’s feet at my Grandma’s house; but no worries, I don’t need to recap that for you). On a side note…Grandma’s raviolis were amazing (holy high-FODMAPs with pasta, ricotta cheese AND onion and garlic in the tomato sauce). It’s hard when I visit my home state of New York and have to say “no” to things like bagels, pizza, pasta, some Chinese and Greek food or to a hero (another word for an amazing submarine sandwich). Luckily more restaurants are offering wheat-free options but I find it happens far more often in urban areas. Other than wheat, there’s still a ton of the other fructans (onion and garlic) in everything.
So Let’s Get Snacking!
So as you look to calm your gut and learn better eating habits all the while trying out low-FODMAP snacks and meals, consider slowing down while you eat. Enjoy meals without distraction (cell phone, TV etc.). Taking some long, slow breaths before your meal can also help calm the nerves and make you less likely to overeat. While you’re at it, get more helpful tips by downloading my free Tips for Better Digestion.
Now that you know eating huge meals may not be a good idea, especially if you have IBS, consider having three smaller meals per day with two snacks in between. Adjusting to this may take some time and chances are if you didn’t snack before, you will need to now. I’ve got you covered with a few low-FODMAP snack ideas below which have been listed with servings so you can make better-snacking choices!
- 1 medium carrot peeled and sliced and a 1/2 cup green bell pepper sliced with 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, 1-ounce cheddar cheese, and 1 serving rice crackers
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumber with 4 tablespoons cottage cheese and 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 small salad with 1 cup spinach, grated carrots, 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese and 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (for vegan switch cheese for nuts or 1/4 cup chickpeas- drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup sweet potato drizzled with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and top with 1 tablespoon crushed walnuts
- 1 Roma tomato halved and cored and filled with 1 egg and 1-ounce cheese. Sprinkle with herbs and bake at 450ºF for 6-10 minutes (depending on the desired doneness)
- 1/2 cup chopped zucchini with 1 medium carrot peeled and sliced with 2 slices swiss cheese
…keep scrolling to see more!
*When possible, have fruit on its own at least 30 minutes before eating a meal. This is not a low-FODMAP approach to eating, just general good digestion advice.
- 1/2 medium ripe banana smothered with 1 tablespoon SunButter
- 20 blueberries with plain lactose-free yogurt topped with 10 unsalted macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup cantaloupe cut into chunks and wrapped in prosciutto
- 1 medium carambola (star fruit)
- 1 medium clementine with 10 almonds
- 4 peeled cumquats
- 1 medium dragonfruit
- 1 cup grapes (any variety)
- 1 medium guava
- 2 small and peeled kiwi fruits
- 1 whole passionfruit pulp with 6 ounces of plain lactose-free yogurt and cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon
- Smoothie – blend 10 frozen raspberries with 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 cup soy milk (made from soybean protein), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1/2 cup ice
- 5 medium strawberries, cut into slivers and topped on gluten-free, low-FODMAP bread with 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- Smoothie bowl – blend 20 frozen blueberries, plus 1 cup almond or hemp milk, 1/2 cup ice, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut, 1 tablespoon nut butter and top with 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon crushed macadamia nuts
Chips, Crackers, Cookies, Chocolate Etc.
- 1 serving gluten-free and low-FODMAP graham crackers
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil spread on 1 slice gluten-free and low-FODMAP bread
- 1 small packet of potato chips/crisps (gluten-free if you are celiac or have a gluten intolerance)
- 1 small packet plain corn chips
- 1 slice gluten-free and low-FODMAP bread topped with 2 slices of deli turkey (antibiotic/hormone free if possible!) and 1 slice swiss cheese, broiled for 2-3 minutes
- 1 muesli bar (fruit and nut)
- 5 saltines crackers (U.S. brand) with 5 dark chocolate squares (or 30g)
- 1/2 cup pretzels, regular or gluten-free (1 cup is HIGH in FODMAPs) with 1 medium orange
- 2 rice crispbreads
- 10 brazil nuts
- 1 biscuit/cookie cream filled with chocolate coating
- 5 dark chocolate squares (30g) with 1 serving brie cheese (2 wedges or 40g)
- 3/4 cup of Nature’s Path EnvironKidz Gorilla Munch cereal with 1 cup almond milk
- Warm 1 soft gluten-free tortilla in a pan and top with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 1 tablespoon (can have up to 2 tablespoons) low-FODMAP strawberry jam (like Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves)
- 1 Udi’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin
- 1 serving Lundberg Farms Sea Salt Rice Chips
- 1 small bag Pop Chips Original
- 1 hardboiled egg sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and salt
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil drizzled on 1 cup of plain air-popped popcorn
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 teaspoon cinnamon melted and drizzled on 1 cup of plain air-popped popcorn
- 1 serving gluten-free Glutino pretzels with 5 dark chocolate squares (or 30g) and 2 slices havarti cheese
Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet? Ask me about my nutritional counseling services by contacting me here.
Be good to yourself and your gut!