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I did it! No apples. No cottage cheese. No greek yogurt. I survived my seven-day challenge of Low FODMAP eating in an attempt to make my stomach happy.

If you missed the past few days, here’s what I’ve covered:

Now that the week has come to a close it’s time to reflect upon the experience. How did it affect me? What did I learn?

The Eats

For starters, what types of things did I eat? Although it took some pre-planning and creativity, I was able to make my usual meals with a bit of tweaking.

BREAKFASTS

  • Berry-Coconut Smoothie: Banana, berries, coconut milk yogurt, almond milk.
  • Oatmeal: Topped with pineapple, strawberry, banana, cinnamon almonds, vanilla extract & almond milk.
  • Cereal: 100% puffed brown rice cereal w/chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, almonds & dream blends milk.
  • Waffles: Vans gluten-free waffles topped with sunflower seed butter, strawberries, chia seeds, almonds.

FODMAP friendly breakfast ideas

LUNCHES:

  • Taco Salad: Iceberg lettuce, quinoa, ground turkey, tomatoes.
  • Chicken Pasta: Brown rice pasta, shredded chicken, fresh basil, parmesan, balsamic vinegar.
  • Chicken Sandwich: Shredded chicken, baby spinach, Swiss cheese on spelt bread.

FODMAP friendly Lunches

SNACKS:

  • Trail mix: Brown rice cereal with almonds and unsweetened dried coconut.
  • Lactose-free yogurt: Topped with blueberries & rice cereal.
  • Celery & nut butter

Celery with almond butter & almonds

DINNERS:

  • Chicken Pasta: Brown rice pasta, shredded chicken, fresh basil, parmesan, balsamic vinegar.
  • Salad: Baby spinach, oven roasted turkey, grapefruit, dried coconut.
  • Tilapia: Topped with crushed cashews & coconut.

FODMAP Friendly Dinners

As you can see, operating within the low-FODMAP guidelines allows to plenty of great options in terms of meal preparation.

The Challenges

What I learned is that FODMAPS are found in LOTS of different foods and are very sneaky about it. Some of the things I bought, once I got home and read the ingredients further, contained them.

For example:

Dream Blends Almond Cashew Hazelnut Drink

My lactose-free milk alternative contains inulin, otherwise known as chicory-root fiber. It is a tasteless fiber supplement added to foods to increase fiber content without affecting taste….AND a low FODMAP no no.

Also:

Vans Wheat and gluten free waffles

[source]

One of the ingredients is “Van’s Natural Fruit Juice Blend (Pineapple, Peach and Pear Juice Concentrates).” You’ll find many foods sweetened using fruit juice concentrate. Whole peaches and pears are not Low FODMAP and neither is the juice.

I wasn’t really aiming to eliminate FODMAPS from my diet completely, so these ingredients being there didn’t bother me. Rather it allowed me to add to my knowledge of ingredients and nutrition.

The Results

While I wouldn’t say I’m magically healed, I did notice some improvement. I found myself not experiencing the “overwhelming full” feeling after meals the way I often do.  There were still times when my stomach was upset (such as the cucumber fiasco) so problems still exist. I only tried this for a week, however people working under the guidance of nutritionists and dieticians are advised to go 6-8 weeks in order to improve their symptoms.

The Take-Home Message

While I do miss my Greek yogurt and apples, and will be incorporating them back into my life, I feel as though I am now armed with the knowledge of the potential effect they have on my body.

From here on out I plan on being cognizant of the high FODMAP foods I’m eating and perhaps space them out a bit more than I was.

(A.K.A. no more wheat waffles with cottage cheese and chopped up pear).

Vans waffle with cottage cheese, pear and almonds

Each person is unique and therefore has to find what works best for them. While I don’t think this was the end all cure, I think it was definitely a step in the right direction!

Now I want to know…

Have you ever been faced with any dietary restrictions? If so, how did you adapt and overcome?

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