May 13, 2011

FODMAPs and a Meal Plan

Ever since I happened upon some discussions over at Gluten-Free Goddess about FODMAPs, I’ve been studying up on them. (check out the various links within Karina’s post – lots of good talks about this.) I then found a book by Patsy Catsos called IBS–Free At Last. You see, like some others, despite going gluten-free, I still have some lingering digestive symptoms. I don’t usually like to talk about digestive symptoms here, because, after all, this is a blog filled with food and recipes. Most people don’t come here to talk about heartburn, gas, and bloating (or worse). But the reality is, many of us deal with these issues, and after reading about FODMAPs, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give this a try, to see if I could alleviate some of mine.

What are FODMAPs? FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. (Yeah, FODMAPs is easier to remember. Thankfully, someone invented acronyms.) FODMAPs include a lot of different kinds of carbohydrates. Basically, there are certain sugars and fibers in certain foods that are hard for some people to digest before it makes its way to the large intestine, where it wreaks all sorts of havoc. These foods can include some fruits, vegetables, milk, wheat, onions, garlic, beans, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. Patsy goes into a bit more detail here, and in even more detail in her book.

So if these might be causing digestive issues, what is the solution? Basically, to take them out of your diet for a while, and then reintroduce them in a systematic manner, taking notes about how you feel throughout the process. I spent this week understanding how to accomplish this. Patsy makes it really simple – she gives you sample meal plans and lists of allowed foods. She even tells you to cross out those foods you can’t eat for other reasons (for me, of course, anything containing gluten or dairy is off-limits). Of course, I can’t do anything exactly by the book, so I set off to make my own meal plans, following the guidelines of allowed foods. Once I got started, it was a lot easier than I originally thought. At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed, I’ll admit. “No onions, no garlic, no avocados? How will I survive?” But after seeing the meal plans and realizing that this wasn’t far off from what I normally can eat, I came back to my senses and forged ahead. I typically plan meals a week at a time anyway, but this took some additional thought with the new guidelines. I’m sure next week will be even simpler.

Wanna know what I will be eating for the next week? Here is the basic plan. The actual days meals are eaten may vary, as they typically do. All in all, it’s not much different than what I usually make – it was simply a matter of swapping out certain vegetables and fruits for ones that are allowed. But here’s the jist:

Sunday

Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Steamed Beets, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Sauteed Yellow Squash (making extra chicken for later in the week)

(I also plan to hard-boil eggs for the week, make cream of buckwheat for breakfasts, and possibly other snacks to pack in our lunches)

Monday

Breakfast: cream of buckwheat with nuts, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: spinach salad with leftover beets, carrots, tomato, cucumber, radish, and chicken

Snacks: Rice cakes, blueberries

Dinner: Slow Roasted Salmon (sans onions) with Brown Rice and Steamed Kale (or whatever greens look good at the market)

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with carrots, spinach, 1/2 banana, stevia, lots of cinnamon, and hard-boiled egg

Lunch: Tuna salad with Mary’s Gone Crackers, carrots and cherry tomatoes

Snack: handful of nuts

Dinner: Grilled chicken on salad (kinda winging it based on what salad stuff I have left)

Wednesday

Breakfast: Cream of buckwheat with nuts or berries, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: zucchini “noodles” with a peanut sauce (kind of like Ricki’s Pad Thai, adapted for my needs)

Snack: nuts, carrots, or rice cake

Dinner: Cajun sausage pasta with “cream” sauce, zucchini (this will be an experiment!)

Thursday

Breakfast: same smoothie as Tuesday, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: leftovers

Snack: celery sticks with peanut butter

Dinner: Chicken Tacos/Salad with rice (using leftover chicken – since it will be a few days, I’ll probably freeze it Sunday and thaw for this meal)

Friday

Breakfast: GF oats with 1/2 banana, tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, cinnamon

Lunch: Spinach salad with tuna or chicken, cucumbers, carrots, tomato

Snack: Rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: Balsamic dijon pork tenderloin over polenta with roasted carrots

That’s it! We’ll see how close the actual meals come to that, but regardless, I’m crossing my fingers to see if those pesky “issues” improve.

Tell me – what do you think about seeing a meal plan from Tasty Eats At Home, regardless of whether it’s FODMAPs related or not? Is this beneficial for you? Would you like to see my meal plans every week? And if you have input about the FODMAPs diet, I’d love to hear it.

Also, there’s only a few hours left to enter for your chance to win a copy of Good Morning! Breakfasts without Gluten, Sugar, Eggs or Dairy by Ricki Heller! Check it out now and enter if you haven’t already. Giveaway ends tomorrow, Saturday, May 14, 2011.

39 Responses to “FODMAPs and a Meal Plan”

  1. Please keep doing the meal plans! As I continue to explore the best diet for me, this is an option I’ve considered & this is really helpful!

  2. I don’t pay much attention to weekly meal plans on blogs…tend to skip over them. BUT I know a lot of people really like them and find them helpful. And I’m really interested to hear how this FODMAPS food plan goes! I’m still having a ton of issues too, and every clinician I speak with has a different perspective on how to handle it. I have yet to figure out something to completely eliminate symptoms, although they’ve improved a lot (at least when I’m strict about all my food sensitivities).

  3. I have been avoiding FODMAPS for about 5 months now.
    Patsy has a blog too. Sweet Potatoes have now been added to
    the FODMAPS list. I can eat a small amount of sweet potato.
    My symptoms are so much better. I now know how to keep down
    the pain, bloat, and constipation. Truly all FODMAPS have a threshold.
    I find that I can eat anything. (Just not in great amounts)
    Keeping my FODMAPS under control has given me back my life.
    I also have trouble with peanut butter, beans, and eggs. I do eat
    some of these foods too. I just have to watch it.
    It is all in the timing/spacing of troubled foods. My belly hasn’t looked
    nine months pregnant or, been in pain, since discovering FODMAPS.
    Wishing you well.

    Oh, no I am not a menu person. I will say reading your menu, if I ate
    that exact menu I would be sick. I have found for me, it isn’t just the
    FODMAPS in the food. It is also too much fiber. Lots of veggies in one
    meal will be a tummy problem. I learned this from reading
    a book from HelpForIBS.com Sorry I can’t remember the name of the book. However, the two books together have solved my tummy woes.
    I realize my food troubles will be different than yours. I just wanted to
    share to give you ideas to help yourself.
    I have to add, for me it is ALL of the FODMAPS that give me trouble. :(
    I can eat fat, sucrose, and proteins. I tend to eat too many muffins, cupcakes, candy bars etc…….. These foods go down easy, give me quick energy, and zero tummy troubles. I don’t know what will happen to me
    in the long run. I know these foods are very low in nutrition. But, suffering everyday is no fun.

    • Hi Betty,
      I realise your post is from 2011 and I sincerely hope you’ve found some relief by now but I couldn’t help reading that you are intolerant to high FODMAP foods and also peanuts, eggs and beans. That sounds to me very much like you have an intolerance to high sulphur foods!
      The form of sulphur that causes people problems is “thiols” and a lot of folk I know have a problem with it.
      This website provides a pretty good list of high and low thiol foods:
      http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/food/high-sulfur-sulphur-food-list/
      They recommend you try to eliminate thiols altogether for 2 weeks and see if you feel better. Why not give it a go?

  4. YES!!!! Please keep doing your menu plans Alta, I find them very helpful, if for no other reason, than they spark ideas! I know my readers would love to see your meal plans too and I will be sure to share them. :-D

    I just read something about FODMAPS for the first time about 15 minutes ago, talk about timing! I’m off to read more about it…

    xo,
    Heidi

  5. I love the menu plans, and this whole food combination thing is very interesting. I follow a couple of guidelines based on some of what I’ve learned from the raw food community, and it’s fascinating to explore all this more in-depth. Thank you for the article, and I think the menus will prove very helpful! Nice work :) And I’m now rather hungry…

  6. I’ve been avoiding FODMAPs and all forms of sugar for two+ weeks now and it is changing the way I feel dramatically. I no longer feel eight months pregnant. I’ll miss some veggies and fruits, I admit. But I’m feeling so much better, it’s worth it.

    • I want help, Iam so over this bloating and feeling ill. please help!!!!

      • Betty – I feel your pain, and I’m sorry you’re going through feeling so poorly. I’m certainly not a doctor by any means, so I can’t really give you a lot of advice. I can only tell you that for me, it’s taken time, a lot of months of careful eating (FODMAPs didn’t turn out to be the issue for me, however, I removed grains and sugar from my diet, in addition to gluten and dairy, and over time, it gave my gut the rest it needed) and learning what my body could and couldn’t handle. I wish the best for you!

  7. Pingback: Dr. Rodney Ford, The Gluten File (and a Menu Plan) | Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

  8. Pingback: Squash and Chard Casserole | Tasty Eats At Home

  9. Pingback: Meal Plan May 22-May 27 | Tasty Eats At Home

  10. Pingback: National Foundation for Celiac Awareness – Celiac Awareness Month | Tasty Eats At Home

  11. If you’re stuck in a dinnertime rut and are battling runaway grocery bills, The Organized Cook will do the planning and organization for you to prepare healthy, delicious meals for your family while saving you lots of time and money; visit me at http://www.OrganizedCook.com.

    Kim Daniels
    Menu Planning

  12. Intersting diet. However, with IBS I can’t eat raw salad or vegetables. I also react to spinach. How can this cure IBS if I react to these things? Trust me I do. I try them once in a while and I react. Any suggestions?

    • Sue – I feel your pain with IBS. However, I’m by no means an expert on alleviating the symptoms. I’ve tried many things myself, but everyone is different. For me, I avoid gluten, dairy, and most grains and legumes. But I can tolerate raw veggies well. My only thoughts are to check with a doctor and/or nutritionist, and possibly attempt an elimination diet under their supervision.

    • My nutritionist suggested that I microwave the greens and fruit just a little. She said this is like predigesting, so makes it easier on your system. So I put together a salad of kale, swiss chard, spinach, chopped up grapes, drizzle a little bit of lemon juice and olive oil and microwave for about 30 seconds (time depends on the microwave’s power). I cannot handle it fresh, but this works for me.

      • Denise – This is a great idea. I love slightly wilted greens, and it sounds like this is like that. I might have to try that version!

  13. This looks great! Would love to see more weekly menu plans. Been on a semi no fodmap diet since June, and want to get on a low Fodmap diet and reintroduce foods because my current diet is just too strict! Your menu gives me other options, yay! =)

    • Ashley – I’m not longer following a low-FODMAPs diet per se – I generally just watch my intake of grains (I eat mostly Paleo), and rarely/never eat beans, and I’m pretty good. I hope you look around at my other meal plans – they’re not FODMAP-specific, but I bet you can find some dishes that will work for your needs!

  14. I have to say that for the last couple of hours i have been hooked by the amazing posts on this site. Keep up the good work.

  15. Great website- look forward to reading new posts

  16. I just found this – since I just got slammed with the FODMAP diet by my nutritionist. :/ And she wants me to go dairy free with it too. I just want to say THANKS along with everyone else, for posting this!

  17. Pingback: Let’s Do This Sh*t, FODMAPs! « Lipstick Kisses

  18. Pingback: Planning Power | Gen*HER

  19. Thank you for this. I have just been given the list of what not to eat and don’t find all the complicated recipes on some sites helpful. This is great and I will follow! Hopefully I’ll find more or you will produce more :) Thank you so very much.

  20. Recently being diagnosed with IBS, I’ve started the FODMAP food plan. I feel great, but…..Today I’m having a bit of a pitty party. I’ve been on Weight Watchers for several months and have lost 28.2 lbs….not I am trying to blend WW and FODMAP together. Menus are difficult, keep them coming.

    Thanks,
    Dorothy

    • If you are following a low-FODMAP diet your best bet is to consult with a registered dietician who has had the specific training to assist you. Foods are periodically tested in Australia (an expensive process) and information comes across to us Fodmapers as new foods are investigated. There have been MANY changes recently to previously posted lists that indicate quantities of certain allowable foods are critical for symptom relief. For example…sweet potato and butternut squash. Both are allowed but now we are being told that 1/4 – 1/2 cup is the correct portion to keep symptoms at bay. I was at a total loss when I first began a low-FODMAP diet because there is so much misinformation and outdated information out there. I was fortunate to find a nurtitionist/RD who took the FODMAP training in AU. She was a few hours away from where I live so we met and she got me on the right path. There is much to learn but you must keep up with the changes. The diet is definately restrictive, but if you avoid the culprit foods from the FODMAP categories and you pay attention to quantity and timing you can feel so much better. Best of luck to anyone who needs to follow the low-FODMAP diet. P.S There are many low-FODMAP boards on Pinterest that you can check out for recipes, foods and products that are allowed. Just be wary that not everyone who posts knows the latest information. That’s why I would encourage consulting with a dietician.

  21. Hi!

    I am a vegetarian who needs to start the fodmap diet. Any menu suggestions not containing meat?

    Thanks!

    • Clare, as I haven’t continued the FODMAP diet, I am by no means an expert – especially when it comes to vegetarian diets. I believe tofu is acceptable on a FODMAP diet, so protein sources could come from that and eggs. You could substitute those two items for various other proteins. You might also check out that book IBS, Free At Last to see if there are more ideas there. I can only tell you that for me, it’s taken time, a lot of months of careful eating (FODMAPs didn’t turn out to be the issue for me, however, I removed grains and sugar from my diet, in addition to gluten and dairy, and over time, it gave my gut the rest it needed) and learning what my body could and couldn’t handle. A nutritionist might be a good consult as well. :) I wish the best for you!

      • All of the lists I have come across, not all think that tofu is a good idea. The only acceptable forms are firm or extra firm and fermented soy products. There are many lists that have you avoid soy generally anyway. I am not a master in complete proteins, so I have no other suggestions. :/

  22. Thank you soooooo much for this meal plan. I have IBS-C and have been looking for a FODMAPS meal plan. I have to replace the nuts, I am allergic to nuts, but this is still a great meal plan. What do you use to saute the vegetables.

    • Verra – I hope you find it useful. I change up what I use to saute vegetables – sometimes my homemade lard, sometimes coconut oil, sometimes olive oil.

  23. Is there any jelly you can recommend on the low fodmap diet. It seems like everyone that I try upsets my stomach.

    • Verra – I am by no means an expert on FODMAPs, but I am guessing that many jams are high in fructose just by the fact that the fruits are cooked and concentrated somewhat. My only thought might be an orange marmalade. When I was following a low-FODMAP diet, I wasn’t really eating much in the way of grains and haven’t ever really been eating much bread (even gluten-free) so I don’t eat much in the way of jams or jellies. :( Sorry I’m not more help!

  24. My boyfriend has been feeling bloated for so long we were just told by our Doctor to try this diet which just told us what foods to avoid. So thanks for the info gave us some new
    choices to try.

  25. I’m from South Africa and no one here has ever heard of FODMAPS. I found out about it online and have been trying to learn as much as I can about it on my own. Both my GI and dietician have no idea what the low FODMAP diet is nor has other doctors or dietitians I have spoken too. They look at me as if I’m from another planet.

    So tackling this all on my own is very challenging. I am now on my 8th week of the elimination diet and have reacted to many of the low FODMAP foods and am not sure why. I am Lactose intolerant and have a big problem with Fructans so I will consume 1/2 cup max at each sitting. My Fructose Malabsorption test came back negative but I have not eaten any fruit for over a month now and have seen a difference with that so am a little weary of adding it back. If only I had a dietician who could guide me.

    So for me blogs like this is the only thing I can rely on for help and guidance. I will take a look at your meal plans and hope they can help while trying to figure out what safe low FODMAP foods I can eat. Thank you.

  26. Pingback: Tasty Eats at Home » Healing My Digestion and My Relationship with Food

  27. Pingback: Let’s Do This Sh*t, FODMAPs! | Monica Gallagher's comics, illustration, and freelance work website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2007-2014 TastyEatsAtHome.com. All Rights Reserved.