The low FODMAP diet can feel like a daunting experience. There are so many food items that you can’t have during the elimination phase and if you’re not used to reading ingredient labels you may be completely stuck with what you can eat. Luckily, there are so many resources out there that can help simplify your low FODMAP journey. Read on for eight of my favorite tips to get you started.
#1 Work with a RD
Working with a dietitian can make your life easier. We can translate information from all the current health studies and guidelines and help you use that information to figure out what to actually eat. We can also assess to see how strict you need to be with the elimination phase. We want to work with you to prioritize your nutritional needs and tailor the diet to you.
#2 Easy low FODMAP food swaps
If you’re starting out in the elimination phase, I recommend keeping a food log for a few days ahead of time. This will help you (and your RD) identify all the high FODMAP foods that frequent your diet. 9 times out of 10 there is a low FODMAP alternative to the food you are already eating. Love onion? Try the green parts of spring onions. Eat a turkey sandwich on whole wheat every day for lunch? Switch to sourdough bread. While it’s nice to try new foods during this diet, it’s also 100% ok to just stick to basics and simple swaps.
#3 Make a plan
Having a plan ahead of the start of your diet can be a big stress relief. Keep things simple and plan out 1-2 meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week ahead. Utilize the easy swaps we just talked about so that you don’t have to completely change your current way of eating. You don’t need to make everything from scratch either. Utilize pre-packaged items (like frozen veggies) to minimize the amount of work you need to do in the kitchen.
#4 Get the Monash app
This is always my first suggestion for patients that are ready to start their low FODMAP journey. Monash University is not only where this diet was created, but it’s where all their food testing is done! Their app reflects this food testing in an easy to use “Food Guide” that shows you low, moderate, and high FODMAP portion sizes. This helps to simplify the diet by having an answer to “is this high or low FODMAP” right in the palm of your hand.
#5 Join a support group (i.e. Facebook groups)
You don’t need to go through this by yourself! There are between 25 and 45 million people in the United States who suffer from IBS. You can get support from your family, friends, and RD but sometimes it’s nice to belong to a group who is going through the same things as you. Two groups I recommend:
#6 Keep low FODMAP snacks handy at all times
You can start off building your list of low FODMAP snacks with your RD (we love snacks and have lots of suggestions!). Keep a list of your go- to snacks in your phone for when you go food shopping and then be sure to keep them stocked in your house (or purse, car, office, etc). Having low FODMAP snacks on the ready will prevent you from 1) getting too hungry and reaching for something that is high FODMAP and 2) prevent you from overeating later (portion size is important on the diet).
#7 Follow RDs on social media for easy recipes and inspiration
Dietitians love to educate and they love to eat, so why not follow them on their social channels for some inspiration! Some of my favorites include:
#8 Order from Epicured
This is a no brainer. Ordering from Epicured takes a lot of the stress out of your elimination phase of the diet. All Epicured meals are 1) delicious and 2) 100% low FODMAP & gluten-free. My personal favorites are the Warm Autumn Salad, Almond Cranberry Energy Bites and the Dragonfruit Smoothie.