EPICURED CLINICAL NETWORK MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Erica Ilton is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a private practice in New York City. She is also the lead dietitian at FODMAP Everyday, an online resource devoted to the low FODMAP diet. Erica’s specialties include functional and organic gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), bloating, constipation, celiac disease, gastroparesis and inflammatory bowel disease.

EPICURED: How did you get interested in Nutrition, and specifically gastrointestinal disorders?

Erica Ilton: My interest in nutrition dates back to when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I began looking into what food could (and could not) do to help someone who was so ill. I was working as a graphic designer at the time but was ready for a change, so I decided to turn my newfound interest into a career. I went back to school, and after several years of science classes (something I had avoided in college but ended up loving), an internship, and a tough exam, I became a Registered Dietitian.

Gastrointestinal disorders had always been part of my professional focus, but they became the primary one when I opened my own practice in 2011 after having worked at Joy Bauer Nutrition for nearly eight years. I just find this to be the most rewarding area of nutrition because when you help someone normalize their digestive system you can really change their life for the better!

EPICURED: What are some of the responses you’ve seen to your 3-pronged approach for following a low FODMAP diet?

Erica Ilton: I’ve had an excellent response to my FODMAP program. Many of my clients have struggled with bloating, pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation for years, and most have seen tons of doctors and tried multiple diets, medications, and dietary supplements by the time they walk into my office. They’re confused by all the (often incorrect) information they’ve read online and are therefore very open to hearing about a treatment that makes physiological sense and has such a good track record.

A “3-pronged” approach for following the low FODMAP diet is vital for a successful outcome. Many people are only aware of the Elimination phase, and they remain in it indefinitely. It’s actually only supposed to last about three weeks, with the purpose of revealing whether or not FODMAPs as a whole are responsible for your symptoms. Staying in the Elimination phase for too long is unnecessarily restrictive and can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other undesirable side effects. The Challenge phase is more diagnostic; it shows us which FODMAP groups are causing your symptoms. I often refer to the final phase, Integration, as “FODMAP for Life,” because it’s where we take everything we’ve learned to create a plan tailored to your individual FODMAP profile.

EPICURED: What has been your clients’ experience with Epicured?

Erica Ilton:  Most of my clients go it alone, to be honest, but those who’ve tried Epicured have been extremely pleased. The majority are busy professionals who are used to eating out or ordering in, and preparing full meals—especially ones that require special attention to ingredients—is just not a priority for them.

I find Epicured to be particularly valuable during the Elimination phase of the diet because it reduces the risk of being unintentionally “FODMAPed.” This helps me correctly interpret a client’s response to the diet. I also like the fact that Epicured shows my clients how tasty and varied low FODMAP meals can be. This is really important because trying something new that has the word “diet” attached is not anyone’s idea of fun.

EPICURED: What do you see in the future for GI health and nutrition? Or Food as Medicine?

Erica Ilton: In terms of GI health, I think our ever-increasing understanding of the gut microbiome and the brain-gut axis will revolutionize treatments for digestive disorders.

As a nutritionist, I believe in the healing power of food, but I also worry about people taking Hippocrates’ famous saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” too literally. Taken to an extreme it can suck all the pleasure out of eating and lead to nutritional deficiencies, disordered eating, anxiety, and social isolation. I prefer to think of the low FODMAP diet as a scientifically sound way to treat IBS and other GI disorders without medicine rather than as medicine.

EPICURED: I see you counsel clients, write, produce, edit, lecture, and so many things. What gives you the most satisfaction?

Erica Ilton: I get great joy out of all my professional pursuits…when things are going well! When they’re not—like when words aren’t coming to me for an article I’m writing or a client continues to struggle despite my best efforts—I can go to a self-doubting place. Luckily, I have an excellent “team” that consists of my boyfriend, sister, and a handful of friends to reality check me when I’m not seeing things clearly.

EPICURED: What do you like to do in your free time?

Erica Ilton: I’m a big reader and I can’t recall a time when I didn’t have a book on my nightstand. I love walking and hiking and am lucky to live in a part of Manhattan that is home to two wonderful parks. I also like to make things with my hands—my home is full of my creations and the materials needed to make them. I even carved out a “wing” in my small apartment for my fabric, homemade rubber stamps, sewing machine and all sorts of other tools and supplies that I’ve accumulated over the years.

EPICURED:  Any advice for those suffering from IBS and other digestive disorders?

Erica Ilton: The most important thing is to find a smart and sympathetic gastroenterologist who will listen to you first and run tests (if needed) later. A proper diagnosis is crucial in order to prevent improper or inadequate treatment that may lead to bigger problems down the road. Once you’ve been diagnosed, then it’s time to see a Registered Dietitian who specializes in digestive disorders.

Resources that can help you:

Erica Ilton: Make an appointment at ericailton.com or contact the office at (917) 734-6500

Epicured: For exceptional low FODMAP, IBD-friendly prepared meals delivered right to your door, visit our menu.

Additional information: https://www.fodmapeveryday.com/top-10-strategies-eating-out-low-fodmap-diet/

https://www.ericailton.com

Here’s everything you need to know about our new packaging…

What is a Bento Box?Epicured's low FODMAP Sesame Crusted Wild Salmon in Bento Box

Bento Box is the term we at Epicured lovingly use to refer to the new box that your low FODMAP healthy meals arrive in. Up to 8 Bento boxes can fit inside your delivery box.

Why did we make this change?

We made this change so all our healthy meals and snacks would be “grab-n-go.” All of our low FODMAP dishes are now in one convenient package which you can take to work, the park, wherever you want to enjoy Epicured.

Epicured's low FODMAP Sesame Crusted Wild Salmon in Bento Box

What goes into a Bento Box?

All Bento Boxes include your low FODMAP entrée, its accompanying side items and a Menu Card.

What is on the Menu Card?

The Menu Card has all the information you could ever need or want on the low FODMAP menu item you’re about to enjoy (Reheat Instructions, Ingredients, Nutritional Information). We offer full transparency on using only the freshest gluten-free ingredients around.

What is a Snack Box?

Snack boxes will include all items that you ordered that are not our low FODMAP entrées. All the necessary information from our Menu Cards can be found on the snack’s meal labels.

Why is the dish title and expiration date on the side of the box (via the label)?

You can stack the boxes in your fridge and still see the dish titles and expiration dates.

Are the box and its contents recyclable?

YES!

Epicured's low FODMAP Sesame Crusted Wild Salmon in Bento Box    Epicured's low FODMAP Sesame Crusted Wild Salmon in Bento Box   Epicured's low FODMAP Shrimp Pad Thai    Epicured's low FODMAP Sesame Crusted Wild Salmon in Bento Box    Epicured's low FODMAP Sesame Crusted Wild Salmon in Bento Box

Laura Manning is a Clinical Dietitian at The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Center at Mount Sinai. Today, she is discussing the Benefits of Staying Hydrated.

Keys to Staying Hydrated All year 

Hydration has been on top-of-mind for a lot of us lately as temperatures soar during the summer months. The hot, humid weather should act as a reminder to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration – a potentially dangerous condition that can occur when we neglect to drink adequate amounts of liquid before, during or after strenuous activity. Dehydration can lead to confusion, mood changes, constipation, kidney stones, changes in blood pressure and higher body temperatures,. Though the body has an amazing system for signaling to our brains when we’re thirsty, we cannot rely solely on feelings of thirst. Being proactive and consistent with our fluid intake is key to preventing dehydration and its negative side effects.

Water is critical to overall human well-being – we can survive much longer without food than we can without water. As an essential nutrient, water supports cell structure, helps regulate body temperature, lubricates joints and organs, and transports nutrients throughout the body. Daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age, gender, activity level and presence of a chronic or an acute health condition. Under regular circumstances, daily water intake should be about 2.7 liters (91 ounces) for women and 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men.

How do you stay Hydrated with IBS?

Adequate hydration is increasingly important for individuals with chronic conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBS patients are advised to drink up to 1.5-3 L (~ 35 mL/kg) of fluid per day to replace fluid loss from diarrhea and/or to help manage constipation. Patients with IBD also have an increased need for liquids when experiencing flares, as the fluid loss can be high from increased diarrhea and ostomy output. Individuals with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis may also benefit from fluids with added electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, to replenish stores more effectively. However, beware of oral rehydration solutions or sports drinks on the market – these might not have the best ingredient profile to accomplish electrolyte replenishment and may be too high in sugar and too low in sodium. It is important to speak to your doctor and/or dietitian about safe fluid replacement during flares.

Water alone is not the sole source of hydration. Many beverages containing water, such as juice, tea, coffee and dairy/non-dairy substitute products also count towards your total fluid intake. Hydration can even be obtained via certain foods. For instance, cantaloupe, cucumbers, strawberries, and spinach have the highest water content, while items like bread and almonds have the lowest. Therefore, we do not need to rely solely on fluids to stay hydrated. Consuming more fruits and vegetables, which have added natural vitamins and fiber, is a great supplement to help us maintain adequate fluid levels.

Is Alcohol good for Hydration?

One type of fluid that may be counterproductive to hydration is alcohol. Alcohol can act as a diuretic on the body, causing increased fluid losses as it signals the kidneys to excrete increased fluids instead of retaining a normal healthy level. Alcohol is also a gastrointestinal irritant if consumed in large quantities, especially if you react to the FODMAP content found in drinks like rum and very sweet wines. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, safe alcohol limits are described as no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men. A drink is defined as 12 oz of regular beer (5% alcohol), 5 oz of wine (12% alcohol), or 1.5 oz of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol). Drink in moderation and consider alternating with another beverage between cocktails at the next party or bar-b-que. Enjoy all of your summer activities, but be sure to make an effort to hydrate properly – there are so many beverage and food items to choose from!

Resources that can help you:

Mount Sinai Make an appointment at the Feinstein IBD Clinical Center here or contact the office at 212.241.8100.

Epicured For exceptional low FODMAP, IBD-friendly prepared meals delivered right to your door, visit our menu.

PURCHASE Our Cold Brew with Almond Milk!

________________

DISCLAIMER: Mount Sinai is an investor in Epicured. This material is for informational purposes only, and Mount Sinai makes no representation or guarantee as to any results or experience with Epicured. You should consult with your physician before using a dietary program such as Epicured. Mount Sinai employees do not receive material benefit from endorsing or recommending Epicured. 

Laura Manning is not employed by Epicured. Laura is a full-time employee of the Mount Sinai Health System and receives no compensation, monetary or otherwise, from Epicured. 

REFERENCES: 

[1] Manz F. Hydration and disease. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007;26(5 Suppl):535s-541s.

[1] Popkin B, D’Anci K, Rosenberg I. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(8):439-458.

[1] Water needs. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx. Accessed from the internet, July 10, 2018.

[1] Addressing the Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptom Management.

Capili B, Anastasi JK, Chang M

J Nurse Pract. 2016 May; 12(5):324-329.

[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Cited 2017-01-05. Available from: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

[1] Larsson S, Wolk A. Coffee Consumption and Risk of Liver Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.Gastroenterology. May 2007. 132(2):1740-1745.

[1] Sinha R. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea intakes and risk of colorectal cancer in a large prospective study. Am J Clin Nutr.

2012 Aug;96(2):374-81.

[1] Corrao G, Zambon A, et al. Coffee, caffeine and the risk of liver cirrhosis. Ann Epidemiol. 2001 Oct;11(7):458-65.

[1] Ascherio A, et al. Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women. July 2001 50(1) 56-63.

[1] Zhang Y, et al. Coffee consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in men and women with normal glucose tolerance: The Strong Heart Study. Nutr Met and Card Dis. June 2011: 21(3)418-423.

[1] Jiang-nan Wuae, S, et l. Coffee consumption and the risk of coronary artery diseases: A meta-analysis of 21 prospective cohort studies. Intl J Card. 2009 Vol 137,3; 216-225.

[1] Coffee Consumption. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed from the Internet July 11, 2018.

[1] McKenzie YA, Bowyer RK, Leach H, Gulia P, et al. British Dietetic Association systematic review and evidence-based practice guidelines for the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults (2016 update).J Hum Nutr Diet. 2016 Oct; 29(5):549-75.

[1] Caffeine Chart. Center for Science in the Public Interest. . www.cspi.org. Accessed from the web July 11, 2018.

[1] Capili B, Anastasi JK, Chang M Addressing the Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptom Management. J Nurse Pract. 2016 May; 12(5):324-329.

 

Laura Manning is a Clinical Dietitian at The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Center at Mount Sinai. Today, she is Discussing Coffee’s Health Benefits.   

Is Coffee bad for you?

Over the years we’ve been told countless myths about coffee – it’s dehydrating, it causes cancer – to name a few. However, we have good news for coffee lovers: these myths have recently been debunked! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coffee has been officially removed from the list of potentially cancer-causing beverages. It is also not associated with dehydrating effects. In fact, coffee is packed with antioxidants – studies have shown that it may have a protective effect against cancers of the liver and colon, as well as protective benefits from cirrhosis, Parkinson ’s, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans determines that moderate coffee consumption (3-5 cups a day) is not associated with the development of major chronic diseases. Just be careful to avoid beverages with high amounts of added sweeteners and creamers and choose items like Epicured’s Cold Brew with Almond Milk (only 130 calories).

Benefits of Caffeine in Coffee

For some people, the caffeine in coffee has a mild laxative effect on the bowels which helps us go to the bathroom. This can be positive if you have IBS with constipation. Caffeine can also stimulate the kidneys, causing you to think that you are urinating much more than you should. According to dietary guidelines for managing IBS, people should be assessed for their caffeine tolerance – it is suggested to limit intake to 400 mg per day in adults. As a note, the average amount of caffeine in one 8oz cup of coffee brewed at home is 95mg. However, coffee chains can have as high as 475mg in a serving (serving size may be as large as 20 oz). It is also worth noting that many foods and other beverages contain caffeine such as sports drinks, chocolate, ice cream, iced teas and even over the counter analgesics. For those that have identified caffeine as a trigger, but enjoy the flavor of coffee and tea, simply opt for the decaf versions or try a combination of water and decaf tea (peppermint, rooibos, white and a weak green or chai tea) infused with low FODMAP fruits.

Resources that can help you:

Mount Sinai Make an appointment at the Feinstein IBD Clinical Center here or contact the office at 212.241.8100.

Epicured For exceptional low FODMAP, IBD-friendly prepared meals delivered right to your door, visit our menu.

PURCHASE Our Cold Brew with Almond Milk!

________________

DISCLAIMER: Mount Sinai is an investor in Epicured. This material is for informational purposes only, and Mount Sinai makes no representation or guarantee as to any results or experience with Epicured. You should consult with your physician before using a dietary program such as Epicured. Mount Sinai employees do not receive material benefit from endorsing or recommending Epicured. 

Laura Manning is not employed by Epicured. Laura is a full-time employee of the Mount Sinai Health System and receives no compensation, monetary or otherwise, from Epicured. 

REFERENCES: 

[1] Manz F. Hydration and disease. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007;26(5 Suppl):535s-541s.

[1] Popkin B, D’Anci K, Rosenberg I. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(8):439-458.

[1] Water needs. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx. Accessed from the internet, July 10, 2018.

[1] Addressing the Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptom Management.

Capili B, Anastasi JK, Chang M

J Nurse Pract. 2016 May; 12(5):324-329.

[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Cited 2017-01-05. Available from: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

[1] Larsson S, Wolk A. Coffee Consumption and Risk of Liver Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.Gastroenterology. May 2007. 132(2):1740-1745.

[1] Sinha R. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea intakes and risk of colorectal cancer in a large prospective study. Am J Clin Nutr.

2012 Aug;96(2):374-81.

[1] Corrao G, Zambon A, et al. Coffee, caffeine and the risk of liver cirrhosis. Ann Epidemiol. 2001 Oct;11(7):458-65.

[1] Ascherio A, et al. Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women. July 2001 50(1) 56-63.

[1] Zhang Y, et al. Coffee consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in men and women with normal glucose tolerance: The Strong Heart Study. Nutr Met and Card Dis. June 2011: 21(3)418-423.

[1] Jiang-nan Wuae, S, et l. Coffee consumption and the risk of coronary artery diseases: A meta-analysis of 21 prospective cohort studies. Intl J Card. 2009 Vol 137,3; 216-225.

[1] Coffee Consumption. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed from the Internet July 11, 2018.

[1] McKenzie YA, Bowyer RK, Leach H, Gulia P, et al. British Dietetic Association systematic review and evidence-based practice guidelines for the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults (2016 update).J Hum Nutr Diet. 2016 Oct; 29(5):549-75.

[1] Caffeine Chart. Center for Science in the Public Interest. . www.cspi.org. Accessed from the web July 11, 2018.

[1] Capili B, Anastasi JK, Chang M Addressing the Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptom Management. J Nurse Pract. 2016 May; 12(5):324-329.

 

Cynthia Piscopo, LAC, is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, certified in Mayan abdominal massage, and specializing in pain management and women’s health. She also has a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology from NYU. Cynthia has been working for Total Health since 2014. She keeps up to date with the research and innovation that goes into developing new healing practices. Her main goal as an acupuncturist for Total Health is to alleviate patients’ pain using natural medicine. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys spending time with her daughter, meditating and yoga.

Can acupuncture treat IBS?

Yes, it can!

As an Acupuncturist every year I treat hundreds of patients who come in with various symptoms of IBS having heard of how this ancient medicine might help them in a drug-free way.

Acupuncture is thriving in the US due to its high-efficiency rates. I see the truth of this over and over in my practice with IBS patients as they start getting relief of symptoms within a few treatments. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and general discomfort start dissipating as healing of impaired gut function begins.

Is it a Miracle?

No. Your body is the miracle! With IBS or any illness, the body has veered away from health many times because of poor lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, stress or unknown causes. Acupuncture treatments gently guide the body toward optimal conditions for self-healing. With each precise placement of these tiny needles, the body activates its healing processes: balancing the energy of the body which in turn increases blood circulation, decreases inflammation, relaxes muscles, releases endorphins and increases immunity overall. This creates an optimal environment for healing in the body. For IBS patients the acupuncture treatments are focused on creating that healing environment in the gut.

Acupuncture effects are cumulative therefore each treatment produces more and more of these powerful healing effects. It is also deemed to be effective as a means of reducing stress, anxiety, and insomnia which are often triggers for IBS. After repeated treatments, the gut can begin healing, what took years to develop as an array of IBS symptoms, back to its proper function.

Acupuncture sees each person as an Individual with their own unique health history and focuses on treating the individual and not a disease. It also takes into account all factors which can disrupt health like diet, lack of movement and emotions. An acupuncturist can very often get to the root cause of symptoms and provide treatment which culminates in a reduction if not complete elimination of symptoms. Due to differences in immunity and overall health everybody’s healing rates vary as to how many treatments are needed for optimal healing and a reduction of symptoms.
What I find is that most patients choose to follow a maintenance plan after their symptoms have become manageable.

I have seen many patients achieve relief for IBS symptoms through their healing transformation with Acupuncture. Along with food therapy and stress management, acupuncture provides patients with a decrease in symptoms and an increase in overall health.

Resources that can help:

You can see Cynthia at Total Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
For IBS-friendly foods, check out the Epicured menu!

Our brand new Cacao Almond Smoothie is not only super-delicious, but it’s also an antioxidant powerhouse! It’s a creamy, protein- rich blend of almond butter, GF rolled-oats, bananas, cacao, almond milk, sea salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne pepper. Cacao has traditionally been regarded as a superfood with real, powerful health benefits including: natural stress reducer, energy enhancer, and immunity booster.

The Ancient Mayans and Aztecs used chocolate for spiritual and ceremonial purposes as well. Cacao is known to awaken the creative senses as well as assist us on our inner journey to love and enlightenment. Raw, organic cacao has over 40 times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries! We use Navitas Organic Cacao, a rare species from Peru that is more complex in flavor and nutrition. The beans are carefully selected from small-scale farmers in the heart of Peru’s forest. The flavors will surely delight!

My Culinary Journey!

My travels do not just encompass an exploration of new places and people, but also serve as a personal culinary journey. I recently attended a Mayan Cacao Ceremony in Tulum, Mexico, led by Shaman Nathalia. She guided us though the steps of this ancient ceremony, which is intended to heal the mental, physical and spiritual body. Cacao is believed to rebalance energy and to open the heart. As we silently sat around the cacao ceremonial table, Natalia roasted the cacao pods, peeled them and ground them. She mixed the paste with water, cardamom and sugar and then vigorously whisked them, over heat, using a molinillo until froth formed. She blessed the cacao mixture before serving it to everyone. I was in heaven!

Starting the day with a healthy breakfast will help you keep your metabolism up!

 

Lindsay Maurer is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She offers nutrition counseling, education, and health focused workshops and seminars in various areas of nutrition. She is lead registered dietitian at Total Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

What Causes Bloating?

Eating too quickly, consuming excess amounts of sodium, being physically inactive, or having a gastrointestinal disease, among many other culprits, can cause a swollen-like feeling in the belly known as bloating. An increase in gas production in the body or the malfunctioning of the muscles in the digestive tract can leave us with that “stuffed” feeling, discomfort, and, at times, even pain. Some may even complain that their stomach appears bigger when they feel bloated. Needless to say, being bloated is NOT fun especially during the summertime.

Here are 5 dietitian-approved ways to help you beat that bloat this summer as you enjoy some fun in the sun with friends and family:

  1. Kick-start that metabolism and keep it going throughout the day with food and exercise. Start with breakfast and continue a consistent intake throughout the day. Begin walking to increase your activity level. Bonus: walking can help to move gas through the body, alleviating pain or that “stuffed” feeling in your stomach the more you move.
  2. Decrease your intake of foods known to cause gas and bloating such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans, cabbage, and onions.
  3. Keep a food journal. Writing down what you eat can help you to identify any trigger foods. Many times, figuring out and avoiding your trigger foods can instantly help you to feel better.
  4.  Relieve stress. Identify your stressors and work towards decreasing them. Stress can be a big culprit when it comes to gastrointestinal upset like gas and bloating.
  5.  Fresh is best AND gut-friendly! Choose foods and beverages that help to fight the bloat and alleviate any water retention. Go for fresh, wholesome foods versus processed packaged junk food that is high in sodium and unhealthy fats.

Incorporate these nutrient dense foods into your daily meals to help combat that bloat:

  • Ginger tea: make it at home! Steep fresh ginger in water and add a drop of honey.
  • Melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe, kiwi, and bananas – high in potassium which is a natural diuretic and can help relieve water retention and excrete salt from the body, ultimately decreasing bloating
  • Cucumbers and tomatoes – natural diuretics (help the body excrete excess water)
  • Fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha. These foods contain probiotics, the good bacteria that live in our guts. Consuming these foods are suggested to help improve gut health. A healthy gut can mean less gas and bloat overall!

Resources that can help:

You can see Lindsay at Total Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
For bloat-free summer treats, check out the Epicured menu!

Sometimes gas or bloating can be signs of more serious medical conditions such as IBS & IBD. If your symptoms persist after trying some of our methods above, meet with your doctor and local dietitian to help you navigate your symptoms and improve your health. This does not substitute as medical advice.

Carena Lowenthal is a registered dietitian, certified health & wellness coach, and herself an IBS-sufferer. She works as Epicured’s concierge dietitian to make sure customers have an excellent experience using Epicured to manage digestive illnesses.

I was 22 years old and a dietetic intern at Albert Einstein Hospital in the Bronx. I was taking a patient’s medical history at the bedside when she said to me, “When are you expecting?” I looked at her shockingly, my reply, “expecting what?” I had no idea that my discomfort and apparent belly bloat had gotten me to this point. I thought it was normal that once in a while, I ate something that didn’t agree with me, and my belly went from ‘relatively’ flat to looking 6 months pregnant. And I also thought everyone had gas, like lots of gas was normal! I could never have anticipated what lay ahead. I went from here to a few years later with severe symptoms to a GI doctor, getting my first colonoscopy at age 25, to a diagnosis and medication. It wasn’t until many, many years later when I heard about the low FODMAP diet at a lecture at Mount Sinai, from the guru Kate Scarlata, that I realized I could control my symptoms with diet. And I was a Registered Dietitian.

I had my focus on diabetes, cancer, working with tube feeding and supplements, in and out of ICU’s. I really never took the time to heal myself. Fast forward to now. I’ve taken the time to find out what I can and cannot comfortably eat. I follow a low FODMAP diet 80% of the time. I know my limits and myself. I feel 100% better about my GI health, and Epicured has been a huge factor in this. I eat clean, balanced, appropriate portions of delicious food, fully prepared for many meals a week. Then I cook or eat out other meals, knowing what will work with my body. And the difference in how I feel is tremendous. I can wear the pants or dresses that show off my belly instead of hiding it. And after my last colonoscopy, I wanted to celebrate! I had a clean bill of health. I still don’t understand why my GI doctors hadn’t suggested earlier making changes to my diet. I also don’t understand why I didn’t make my own changes. But live and learn… now my goal is to educate others suffering from IBS or IBD with IBS symptoms to make the changes and choose health.

We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Total Health/ Peak Medical Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Centers located in Florham Park and Berkeley Heights, NJ.

Total Health and Peak Medical of New Jersey are full-service healthcare clinics with a wide variety of treatment options to help patients recover and reduce pain. Their team of experienced specialists collaborate to build comprehensive treatment plans tailored to their individual patient’s needs.

Nutrition and diet are a key part overall health and wellness. At Total Health and Peak Medical, they offer full nutrition assessments and consultations to determine the best diet for their patients’ body and health goals. Nutritional planning is an important part of the comprehensive approach to health and wellness and their trained dietitians will help craft the perfect nutritional plan.

Lindsay Maurer, MS, RDN, CDE and Cynthia Piscopo, Acupuncturist share that many of their patients suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and experience associated symptoms such as gas, bloating and pain. Lindsay often recommends a low FODMAP diet or modification to help identify intolerances and control symptoms. She found Epicured over a year ago and has used it with patients with great success.

Todd Tyminski, DC, DAIPM, says, “Everyday, my team strives to help our patients feel great, feel less pain, and live healthier, more active lives. Food and nutrition are essential and they play increasingly important roles in our care planning. That’s why having a partner like Epicured is such a benefit to our patients and we are thrilled to be joining their clinical network.”

We look forward to joining forces to help more people look and feel great, while enjoying wholesome and delicious food from Epicured.

Renee Cherkezian, RN is a nurse-turned-chef and co-founder of Epicured.

Chef Renee preps the Za’atar Chicken. Credit: Ben Fink Productions

In my house growing up, we would put za’atar on just about everything. Za’atar is a traditional Middle Eastern & Mediterranean spice blend and one of my very favorite flavors. Food carts and lunch joints across the Middle East use it for labneh, a thick and tangy sheep’s milk yogurt. In Lebanon, the traditional salad of tomatoes and ripped pita called fattoush is topped with a dusting of za’atar.

The za’atar you buy in the spice shop is usually a blend of different herbs. According to Lior Lev Sercarz, the master spice blender from the spice shop La Boîte, the most traditional elements of a za’atar blend are its namesake za’atar leaves along with sumac, sesame seeds and thyme.

When creating our new Za’atar Chicken, we looked all over the perfect blend. Which za’atar tasted best dry? Which za’atar tasted the best with extra virgin olive oil? Most importantly, which za’atar best complimented the chicken’s marinade of lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic infused olive oil, sumac, parsley black pepper?

I tested 7 different za’atars before finding one that met this standard. La Boîte’s blend was simply the best, hands down. The Za’atar Chicken is one of my favorite new creations. It’s healthy, fresh, and it takes me back to my childhood when I was first inspired to cook. I hope you enjoy.

The Za’atar Chicken with Quinoa Tabbouleh. Credit: Ben Fink Productions