We took our Epicurators’ advice and found a little more health and a lot more happiness in 2019! Let’s take their sage words of healing into the new decade and look back on the top 10 tips, in no particular order.
May 2020 lift you to new heights on your healing journey!
You are worthy of feeling good in your body and trusting your gut again. The majority of the people I see in my practice are women and many of them have assumed the caretaker role in the lives and put their own needs on the back burner. Make yourself a priority and get help quickly by putting all of your digestive history in one document that you can share with your healthcare team. It is possible to live symptom-free and feel good in the skin you are in!- Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN
9. You can take control of your GI conditions
Diet and lifestyle are the primary initial treatment for many common GI disorders including acid reflux, fatty liver, and even chronic constipation. While it is often easier to reach for a medication to control various symptoms, focusing on dietary and lifestyle changes is a more effective long term plan, and prevents complications from these conditions. Changing our lifestyle can be harder than taking a medication everyday, but the long term benefit for our health is enormous.- Jeremy Matloff, MD
8. Skip the Gut Microbiome Testing... at least for now.
You may have seen ads for Clinical Microbiome Tests, where you pay a few hundred bucks, send in a stool sample, and receive a detailed analysis. If you're considering one of these tests, read why I agree with the experts who warn that these tests overpromise... and underdeliver: 5 Reasons to Skip Gut Microbiome Testing – For Now- Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN
7. Make it fun!
Following a low FODMAP diet can be frustrating as there are so many foods that need to be eliminated or limited. While the list of foods you need to remove from your diet is long, the list of foods you can include in your diet is longer. Focusing on your “go” foods and those that can be tolerated makes meal planning simple and fun. Low FODMAP kitchen staples: red peppers, carrots, butter lettuce, arugula, strawberries, oranges, grapes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, quinoa, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, salmon, chicken, turkey. Try this delicious and simple recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken Stir Fry. This dish is loaded with low FODMAP goodness the whole family can enjoy.- Jeanne Petrucci, MS, RDN
6. Are you eating enough fiber?
Low carb diets are the trend these days, but this only leads to less fiber in the diet. Only 5% of people in the US are meeting the daily fiber recommendations of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men put forth by the Institute of Medicine. Increase fiber slowly in your diet with adequate water for best tolerance. Boost your fiber with low FODMAP fiber sources like oatmeal, chia seeds, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, whole grain rice, baked potato with the skin, kiwi and dragon fruit. Adequate fiber in the diet reduces the risk of many chronic health conditions.- Kate Scarlata, RDN, LDN
5. What are the chances that my child will have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's?
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's can run in families and especially amongst parents and siblings. Around 10-25 percent of people with IBD have a parent or sibling with IBD. When ulcerative colitis affects multiple family members, it tends to start at an early age. What sets off the genes is what we think is part of the puzzle. Possible triggers include infections such as viruses or bacteria like salmonella or e.coli, vitamin D deficiency, NSAIDs use, or even a lack of exposure to bacteria or germs in childhood which prevents the immune system from developing normally. The most important advice a pediatrician can give you as a new mom with IBD is to closely watch your child, and to look out for failure to thrive, iron deficiency, or altered bowel habits. If you see any of these signs, let your pediatrician or pediatric gastroenterologist know right away!- Katherine Freeman, MD
4. Back to Basics
Diets and trends will come and go – but the basics of good health remain the same. The principles of the Mediterranean diet remain a good place to start. Our daily intake should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and poultry, and whole grains. Be sure to add multiple good sources of fiber, which is important for digestive health. Learn more about how Epicured makes a balanced Gluten-free diet easier.- Anne Lee, EdD, RDN, LD
3. Don’t Create Additional Restrictions for Yourself
As a dietitian who specializes in digestive health, I often work with individuals who require many medically necessary dietary restrictions. My advice? Don’t add unnecessary dietary restrictions to the pile! I always explain that there is no one, single, “healthy” diet and nutrition is highly individualized – so what works best for one person may not work well for someone else. Work with a professional who can assess your specific needs and guide you through systematic elimination and reintroduction as needed without overly restricting your intake.- Alyssa Lavy, MS, RD, CDN
2. Eat Mindfully
Mindful eating is a concept that teaches us to focus and pay attention to the meal we are eating. Try to eat slowly and listen to your body cues: eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. You can achieve this when you eat without distractions and simply be in the moment and enjoy the flavors, textures and aromas of the meal you are being served. Eating is about enjoyment, so when you are at a table with family and friends try to keep cell phones and television away from the dinner table. This is incredibly helpful for digestion, so remember; eat slower and be in the moment.- Laura Manning, MPH, RDN, CDN
1. Make a plan!
Meal plan that is. It’s harder to fly by the seat of your pants when following a low FODMAP diet and eating out is not as simple as picking up the phone for take-out. Planning helps ensure success - cook sometimes and order Epicured sometimes to create a sustainable weekly solution. Check out the Epicured low FODMAP meal plan for plenty of simple recipes with Epicured meal delivery options built right in.
- Jeanne Petrucci, MS, RDN