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With any project, you want to be prepared when you decide to embark on the low-FODMAP diet. As a dietitian who has taught the low-FODMAP elimination diet to hundreds of people, I want to share with you some helpful tips to get started on the elimination diet.
Gather your Information: you are going to have to do a little homework if you want to do it properly. You have a few options here – and while googling ‘fodmap’ is one of them, you want to be mindful about what sources you are gathering your information from. There are several websites that I would recommend including Gastro Girl, Kate Scarlata’s blog, Patsy Catsos’s blog, My blog, Low-FODMAP Central, and Monash University. At the time of writing Monash University is testing the bulk of foods on FODMAP content so they will always have accurate information about FODMAP content of food.
Keep a Food Journal: only for a few days. This will help you (or your dietitian) to identify what the high-FODMAP foods are that you are currently eating. You may notice (or realize) that you are only eating high-FODMAP foods at breakfast (apple and a latte, anyone?) and that your lunches and dinners are already low-FODMAP. This would make embarking on an elimination diet much more manageable because now you are only looking for breakfast ideas.
Try the Gastro Girl Digital Health Journal, where you can upload photos, tag symptoms, food and more. Login or register to access this feature. Registration is free and gives you access to the Gastro Girl Community, Provider Directory and your Personal Digital Health Journal.
Collect Recipes: You want to have recipes, or meal ideas on hand for when you are hungry and feel like “cheating”. The recipes don’t have to be elaborate, because if you are really hungry you probably won’t feel like cooking. But keep a list of your favorite low-FODMAP meal ideas, recipes, and snacks.
Stock your pantry: Having recipes is one half of the equation, but making sure that you have the right ingredients is the other. Same goes for snacks – popcorn and string cheese may be your favorite low-FODMAP snacks, but that doesn’t help if you don’t have them at home. Take your list of recipes and favorite foods and snacks and go grocery shopping so that you are always prepared!
Don’t beat yourself up: This diet is meant to help you identify foods that are causing you digestive distress. If you “cheat” it is not the end of the world. Try your best to follow the diet and if you mess up, it is okay. Start your next meal with your best foot forward. You didn’t “ruin anything” and you don’t have to “start all over again”. Just keep going!
Find the right professional: If you choose to work with a professional to guide you through the diet, make sure that the person you are working with is a dietitian who is trained in the low-FODMAP diet. You should feel comfortable that all of the professionals on the Gastro Girl Network are well-educated on the topic. But if you are working with someone in your local community, ask them before you start working with them. Not all dietitians are informed about the low-FODMAP elimination diet
I will be taking your questions LIVE in the Gastro Girl Community on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM. Registration is free.