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What the heck are FODMAPS? {my belly needs a change}

Last week I shared my lovely experience getting my first colonoscopy and learning that my IBS is getting worse. Basically, the doctor told me that I needed to be very careful about the foods I eat and advised I learn about FODMAPS. For those of you who know me, my facial expressions tell a thousand words. I had never heard of the term FODMAPS and I was not happy that he suggested I get rid of most everything I love from my diet. I will be honest, fruits and vegetables have never been high on my priority list of foods. I am happiest when I have loads of crackers, cookies, chips, ice cream and carb/sugar loving foods in my belly ;). I have never had to watch what I eat (I am lucky!) so this new way of eating kind of stinks. Some how through the years, I have gotten away with eating what I want and managing my IBS but as I get older, my belly is putting up a fight. One of the biggest challenges for me is the grocery store. I need to eliminate as much gluten and lactose as possible and understand the ingredient labels as been tough.

 

Yes, I had a little fun with my picture in photobooth ;). So what the heck are FODMAPS? FODMAPs are carbohydrates (sugars) that are found in foods. Not all carbohydrates are considered FODMAPs. The FODMAPs in the diet are: Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc) Lactose (dairy) Fructans (wheat, garlic, onion, inulin etc) Galactans (legumes such as beans, lentils, soybeans, etc) Polyols (sweeteners containing isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc). So basically, I need to eliminate all or most of these when possible.

jess looking at Kahl FODMAP DIET

I came home from my appointment feeling frustrated, confused and starving. I was afraid to eat because I knew my normal diet would upset my stomach but I had no idea what I could eat. My doctor set me up with a nutritionalist who I will meet with in mid-March but in the meantime, I got busy googling and searching the FODMAPs term. I was so surprised about the abundance of information out there. This is actually a huge problem for many and the low FODMAP diet is extremely popular. I found this fabulous graph on the Stanford Health site and it breaks everything down in english.

FODMAPS / low FODMAP foods to eat and ones to avoid

WHAT ARE FODMAPS/FOODS TO EAT AND AVOID

Stay tuned, I am on week two of a low FODMAP diet and yes, I am eating that Kahl in the picture above. I can’t stand to eat it regular so I have been blending it in with my morning green juice smoothie. I can’t even believe I am drinking green juice smoothies but I am. I will be sharing my smoothie, lunch and dinner recipes with you as time goes by.I came home from the grocery store and my grandfather said, what are doing with all that green stuff? I told him about my new diet and his response was, “don’t be cooking any of that crap for me.” ha.

PS. don’t tell anyone but the diet is actually amazing. My stomach is not bloated or killing me. There is hope for me after all ;).

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Jess, I too have IBS and have been on a low FODMAP diet for the last 18 months. I am able to manage my IBS very well now and I know what triggers a flare up for me. I have an app on my phone called “The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet” which helps. It was produced by the Monash University in Australia and works on a traffic light system when listing foods I can eat, can’t eat or can eat in moderation. It also contains low FODMAP recipes, an easily understood educational section on FODMAPs, Carbohydrates and malabsorption, shopping lists and a diary where you can record symptoms as you trial a FODMAP diet. I highly recommend it.

    1. I am going to find that app right now!!!! THanks so much and keep me posted on your tips 🙂 I need all the help I can get! ha

  2. I’d never heard of FODMAPS before. So sorry you have to make major accommodations but glad to hear you are feeling better!

  3. Hi Jessica,

    I’m not promoting anything but I thought you might find this website of use. I’ve been following The Paleo Mom for about a year. She may have some info that will help you recover your health. http://www.thepaleomom.com/about-sarah-2

    If you decide to give Paleo a try I have links to some great Paleo food blogs I’m happy to share with you.

    Best wishes for a healthy life.

    Patty

    ps I had a colonoscopy a few years back. Ya, I good times, not! LOL

  4. LOVE the faces. Sorry you have to make them. Eating habit changes are so hard!!
    Hope the relief continues for you.
    (and lol on grandpas comment)

  5. Wow Jessica we have a lot in common. I am also lactose intolerant and have a gluten sensitivity. I’ve been gluten free for over a year now and if I fall off the wagon I really suffer. Did your doctor mention anything about probiotics? That has made a huge difference for me! Thanks for the info on fodmaps. With all my research on IBS, I had never heard of it before now.

    1. No kidding Mary! I didn’t know that about you! He did mention probiotics but said I should try the low fodmap diet for a few weeks before introducing anything. The diet has been so good for my stomach!

  6. so glad you’re writing about this! and fascinating to think that most people who think they are intolerant to gluten are actually sensitive to fodmaps…too bad there are more fodmap foods than gluten foods, frustrating! hang in there and thanks for sharing!!

  7. My doctor put me on the FODMAP diet several months ago because I was sick for over a month and not getting better. It’s a very strict diet as you said, but I began to slowly start to feel better. He also had me go dairy-free and soy-free.

    It was overwhelming at first, and I can’t have some of the other foods because of allergies or problems with reflux (so no tomatoes, no oranges, no fish as I’m allergic, etc.).

    I have to be gluten-free and so had to experiment finding a bread that I like (Udi’s) and finding pasta that I like.

    The funny thing is that I learned to like some new foods and I eventually got used to drinking rice milk.

    The FODMAP diet the doctor gave me said I couldn’t have broccoli, cauliflower, green beans (which was weird because some diets allow them), asparagus, apples, peaches, pears, watermelon…..all my favorite fruits and vegies!

    I was very sick for one month and was so miserable and the whole time I thought it was acid reflux, lol! So it was just wonderful to start feeling better again, and I’m glad you’re feeling better too.

    But now my doctor has allowed me to add back some fruits and vegies in moderation and occasionally, and I can have cheese sometimes which is fun!

    i googled FODMAP and found several blogs with recipes and that’s how I discovered some new foods!

  8. Hi there,
    I would make a similar face if any of my favorites landed on the banned foods list. God, carbs are so good! But I have learned to love veggies and juices and try to live like a vegetarian and be carb free for at least once a week. Small steps but body feels good. Cool article though.

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