Hi again Fodmappers - I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and managed to avoid the yummy temptations which cause us so much grief?
As we're now moving into the New Year, I thought now would be a good time to focus on what you really want from the year ahead. In particular, are you ready to commit to getting your IBS symptoms under control? How would that sound as your New Year's resolution? Is that something you'd like to achieve? Maybe you've 'dabbled' with the low-FODMAP diet and want to give it another go? Or maybe your resolution is to begin to discover new ways to improve your digestive health? Maybe you've simply had enough of your IBS and you're ready to do something about it? Then welcome to Fabulous Fodmaps - this blog is for you.
(If you're an already experienced Fodmapper, I hope you might still find something useful here. Maybe you'd even like to leave a word of encouragement for newcomers in the comments at the end of this post?)
5 Steps to Low-FODMAP Success
I suggest that your first step is to learn something about the low-FODMAP diet and why high-FODMAP food causes problems for people with IBS. If this is all new to you you might like to read the overview here or if you're ready for something a bit more indepth then you might like to watch the video, 'Beating the Bloat,' here. You don't need to become an expert in FODMAPs but gaining a bit of knowledge will help make sense of it all and I firmly believe that you are more likely to stick to the process if you understand why some food is allowed and some is not.
With a bit of knowledge under your belt you're ready to discover new recipes that are suitable for your low-FODMAP diet. I share some of mine here but there are many more on the internet so you won't be short of ideas. I strongly suggest bookmarking any that take your fancy or simply jotting them down in a note book as you're going to need a good selection. You're going to need to think about breakfasts, lunches, evening meals and snacks, as well as eating out. The exclusion stage is a minimum of 6 weeks and that's a lot of meals. I will give you a word of caution though, and that is simply to be careful out there. Not all the recipes you see labelled as low-FODMAP actually are low-FODMAP. If you're not sure which ingredients are safe you can check the list here.
3. Plan Ahead.
Time to shop and to stock up on foods you've possibly never even looked at before. You're going to be visiting the Gluten-Free sections of your supermarket for wheat free pastas, breads and breakfast cereals, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that they are not as bad as you may have thought. You'll be trying lactose-free milks and seeing which ones you you prefer.You'll also be reading a lot of labels. Start stocking the cupboards with 'safe' food and clear out anything that you need to avoid and you'll have a better chance of succeeding.
4. Make it Fun.
It may seem tough at first but discovering new food can be an enjoyable experience all of it's own. Treat your low-FODMAP diet as you would any new cuisine and you'll look forward to mealtimes. Even invite friends for meals if you enjoy cooking and let them try something different too. And make sure to award yourself some low-FODMAP treats. For example, a little chocolate is permitted. There's more on that here.
5. Come Back Soon.
I shall be adding more recipes, tips and inspiration throughout the year so please add this blog to your favourites so that you can find your way back here. And don't forget to comment to let me know how you're getting on.
Happy New Year - may this be your best year yet.
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