When I started my business I wanted to remembered more clearly what it was like emotionally when I was sick and getting nowhere in the healing process.
But memories of emotions are not the same, as the mind mutes pain and trauma as a protective mechanism.
But when my husband started having digestive issues it was as if I got sick again, because there is no one closer to me in the world than him.
I was confident, this time that I knew how to to fix it. So I put him on a diet free of gluten, dairy and sugar and over time weaned him off grains. I put him on L-carnatine, probiotics, and Z-carnosine and gave him a steaming cups of bone broth for breakfast. We even did a bit of yoga nidra.
And there were minor improvements, but not the kind we had hoped for. So I had to figure out what to try next. I don’t have any personal experience with the FODMAP diet but I’ve read a lot about it.
FODMAP is an acronym for a group of foods that are hard to digest. Fructose (apples, pears, persimmon, watermelon, mango), Lactose, Fructans (wheat, onion, garlic), Galactans (beans, lentils, legumes, so, etc) and Polyols (sweeteners with sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, and stone fruit such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc)
If you want to learn more, here’s a complete list of high FODMAP foods from the website of a fellow IBS sufferer. And here ‘s a handy grain-free FODMAP shopping list courtesy of the folks at Whole 30.
I’m also taking other steps to figure out why my husband isn’t healing with this protocol. He’s being tested for infections and adrenal issues to see what else could be preventing his recovery. I’ll keep you posted on the results. But back to FODMAP.
The Low FODMAP diet is popular with IBS sufferers, so I couldn’t leave this diet out of the conversation on my site. And since I am such a hands on, experiential type, I decided to test it’s healing power out on my husband.
Personally I was never sensitive to FODMAP foods, but people who react to high FODMAP foods typically have an infection in their small intestine, and since there is a correlation between leaky gut (my husband’s issue) and small intestinal infections, I decided to give it a shot.
FODMAP is basically an elimination diet that helps people figure out what foods (fruits and veggies mostly) can trigger their symptoms. Eventually foods are added in one by one to test the body’s reaction.
The FODMAP diet allows non-gluten grains, but since I believe in the grain-free approach to gut healing, I put my husband on a grain-free version of the low FODMAP diet.
My frustrations with FODMAP is this: There is a discrepancy between what you can and can’t eat on the different lists I consulted. That makes me a little crazy.
Also, what isn’t allowed is so random, so I need to carry a list when I shop. Lastly, I don’t think of FODMAP as a diet that cures the underlying issues of IBS, but just avoids triggering symptoms.
It was definitely NO fun to feel even MORE restricted when I shopped, but I told myself it was only an experiment, not a forever thing. And it would be a challenge to cook with limited ingredients, like on the show ‘Iron Chef’.
If you want to experiment with low FODMAP at home, I’ve prepared a menu plan below, based on what we ate.
And we managed to eat quite well even though I did miss cruciferous veggie staples like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, as well as garlic and onions, which I put in everything.
20 grain-free food ideas for low FODMAP
Lamb and beef meat balls with steamed green beans with salt and olive oil or herb butter
Soup with beef bone broth pumpkin puree with thai or curry spices and coconut milk. I threw in some red snapper to make it into a pumpkin fish curry. *Bone broth has magical healing properties for the gut. I highly suggest homemade bone broth for this dish. Store bought broth is too high in salt and has other additives.
Fresh chopped tomatoes boiled down in beef bone broth, served over zucchini noodles with lamb meatballs
Baked salmon with veggie stir fry (bok choy, green bell pepper, spinach, kale and carrots) Season veggies with lemon juice, cumin, tumeric and salt.
Delicata squash roasted and cut in half, stuffed with cherry tomatoes, bacon and lamb
Sweet potato cut in strips, tossed in olive oil and baked into fries, served with roasted chicken
Roasted frittata with spaghetti squash and cilantro pumpkin seed pesto (put pumpkin seeds, cilantro, lemon, olive oil and salt in a food processor). Combine squash with pesto in a bowl, add in 3 to 4 eggs and green bell peppers (optional) and bake for half an hour at 350
You can also substitute spaghetti squash for noodles in chicken soup. Add broth, chicken pieces and carrots
Arugala salad with chopped hard boiled eggs, cucumber, tomato, green onion, radish and chicken breast or broiled fish of choice
Roasted eggplant puree (put cooked eggplant into food processor with olive oil) and serve with lamb chops and roasted parsnips
Lactose free yogurt with banana and blueberries
Green plantains (baked) with eggs and turkey sausage
Sugar-free smoked salmon on seaweed nori with matchstick sliced cucumbers
Bone broth with carrots and chives
Sweet potato baked with cinnamon or butter
Fruit salad with honey dew, papaya and pineapple (dressed with lime juice)
Hemp milk with chia seeds, shredded coconut, strawberries and pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin smoothie, with hemp milk, banana and pumpkin pie spice
Kale smoothie with coconut water, banana and raspberries
Spinach salad with shrimp, tomatoes, cucumber and lactose-free yogurt dressing with herbs, lemon and olive oil
Tomato soup made by boiling down fresh tomatoes, eggs, anchovies, butter and bone broth
Carrot soup made with bone broth and served with sauteed kale and chopped chicken breast
Halibut served with roasted eggplant, dressed with oregano, lemon juice and olive oil
Leftovers from dinner
Chopped, roasted organic red potatoes served with chopped green beans and chopped hard boiled eggs (or protein of choice) served with herb butter
Has FODMAP worked for you? Tell me in the comments below.
Angela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.
Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.