This summer, I tried this diet called the Low FODMAP diet. This diet was developed to help those who suffer from IBS and IBD. After a huge flare up that sent me to the doctor, I decided to give it a shot. Desperate times and all that.
I first learned of this diet through Pinterest. (Of course) When I first saw it, I kind of dismissed it as some other stupid diet. Then I started looking into it more. FODMAPs are carbs that IBS/IBS sufferers have a hard time digesting properly. FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharide and polyols.
These include sugars high in fructose, most dairy products, wheat, beans, some nuts, and certain fruits and vegetables. (There goes like 75% of my normal day-to-day diet!) Fortunately, I could still eat most meats, and there are still plenty of fruits and veggies and nuts I could eat!
This diet is very similar to other elimination diets. You go for a few weeks without the foods that are high in FODMAPs. Then you slowly introduce them back into your diet.
The diet can be highly complicated. All the site I’ve seen say it’s best to consult a dietician before starting the diet. They can help make sure you get the right foods and help you with the re-introduction stage. Did I do this? No. I kind of wish I did, because as I said, this is pretty complicated. I was constantly checking what I can and can’t eat. Meal planning is a must for this diet, and I hate meal planning! If you have any other health conditions or concerns, I really do recommend consulting a medical professional. I don’t have any other health problems, so I felt okay going on this alone.
There are several resources out there for this diet online. Monash University, (the ones that developed the diet) have an app you can download to help out, but it costs about $10. (I’m too cheap for that right now, but if I get desperate enough, I’ll get it!) A few of the resources I’ve been using are:
How did it go? Well, TBH, I hated it! Like I said, I was constantly having to plan ahead and double check things. Grocery shopping took longer because I have to check labels. Every day, I thought about quitting. But, also being honest and upfront, I didn’t follow it 100%. Pretty much every few days, I had something I’m not supposed to have. Some of it is just not checking the label before I eat something and then realizing later I’m not supposed to have it. Some of it is the “a little bit won’t hurt!” attitude. This is definitely a learning process, and thankfully I only had to do it a few weeks. I was willing to bend the rules a little for occasions like going out to eat or eating at someone’s house.
I’ve done an elimination diet before where I eliminated gluten, dairy, and soy. That was hard, but it was much more straightforward. I wanted to quit, but once I realized I could still have Coke and some candy, I was good. With a low FODMAP diet, my choices for treats were slim. No high fructose corn syrup is allowed, so you can imagine what that means.
This sucked, but I think it helped some. I don’t think I really found a specific thing that sets me off, but it was worth a shot. Since IBS is a chronic, lifelong thing, I want to manage it as much on my own as I can. One of these days I might go to a gastroenterologist for specialty help, but for now I want to do what I can on my own.
Some things I’ve learned:
· I basically have to buy gluten free bread (which is pretty expensive) because even breads primarily made from other grains still have wheat flour in them. I don’t mind the taste of GF breads, I just don’t like the price!
· I’ve learned to like the flavored sparkling waters. It’s become a good substitute for Cokes, just without all the crap.
· It’s ridiculous how much stuff has high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. I mean, I know it’s in a bunch of stuff, but it’s an eye-opening experience how much it is in our food. (All I can think of typing that out is Supernatural when the Leviathans were poisoning the food supply!)
· With a few modifications, I can have delicious pancakes! I took a basic recipe I have and used GF flour and almond milk. I couldn’t have the syrup we have, so I used jelly! Then I got excited by how good they were and made PB&J pancakes. Try it.
· You’re going to need to make some substitutes that may be pricier, but over-all you probably won’t be spending as much money on food. Yeah, GF stuff costs more, but when you’re not spending your money on crap food, you have more for the good food.
· This isn’t a low-carb diet. You are cutting some carbs, but it just specific ones. I’m no expert, and this may be something you need to check with a medical professional with, but you should still be okay to exercise normally with this. I did notice I was lagging a bit last week. The hardest part was I couldn’t take any of my normal post-workout supplement because of the sugars in it. Powerade was out, so after working out hard in the heat, I felt like my body took a big hit. Fortunately, I found some hydration supplements I can have. This won’t help me fully recover, but it will be a big help!
Got these buy one get one free!
This originally appeared on my other blog mshattuckruns.tumblr.com . I have updated some information due to the time delay since the original posting.