FODMAPs and a Meal Plan

Ever since I happened upon some discussions over at Gluten-Free Goddess about FODMAPs, I’ve been studying up on them. (check out the various links within Karina’s post – lots of good talks about this.) I then found a book by Patsy Catsos called IBS–Free At Last. You see, like some others, despite going gluten-free, I still have some lingering digestive symptoms. I don’t usually like to talk about digestive symptoms here, because, after all, this is a blog filled with food and recipes. Most people don’t come here to talk about heartburn, gas, and bloating (or worse). But the reality is, many of us deal with these issues, and after reading about FODMAPs, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give this a try, to see if I could alleviate some of mine.

What are FODMAPs? FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. (Yeah, FODMAPs is easier to remember. Thankfully, someone invented acronyms.) FODMAPs include a lot of different kinds of carbohydrates. Basically, there are certain sugars and fibers in certain foods that are hard for some people to digest before it makes its way to the large intestine, where it wreaks all sorts of havoc. These foods can include some fruits, vegetables, milk, wheat, onions, garlic, beans, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. Patsy goes into a bit more detail here, and in even more detail in her book.

So if these might be causing digestive issues, what is the solution? Basically, to take them out of your diet for a while, and then reintroduce them in a systematic manner, taking notes about how you feel throughout the process. I spent this week understanding how to accomplish this. Patsy makes it really simple – she gives you sample meal plans and lists of allowed foods. She even tells you to cross out those foods you can’t eat for other reasons (for me, of course, anything containing gluten or dairy is off-limits). Of course, I can’t do anything exactly by the book, so I set off to make my own meal plans, following the guidelines of allowed foods. Once I got started, it was a lot easier than I originally thought. At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed, I’ll admit. “No onions, no garlic, no avocados? How will I survive?” But after seeing the meal plans and realizing that this wasn’t far off from what I normally can eat, I came back to my senses and forged ahead. I typically plan meals a week at a time anyway, but this took some additional thought with the new guidelines. I’m sure next week will be even simpler.

Wanna know what I will be eating for the next week? Here is the basic plan. The actual days meals are eaten may vary, as they typically do. All in all, it’s not much different than what I usually make – it was simply a matter of swapping out certain vegetables and fruits for ones that are allowed. But here’s the jist:

Sunday

Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Steamed Beets, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Sauteed Yellow Squash (making extra chicken for later in the week)

(I also plan to hard-boil eggs for the week, make cream of buckwheat for breakfasts, and possibly other snacks to pack in our lunches)

Monday

Breakfast: cream of buckwheat with nuts, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: spinach salad with leftover beets, carrots, tomato, cucumber, radish, and chicken

Snacks: Rice cakes, blueberries

Dinner: Slow Roasted Salmon (sans onions) with Brown Rice and Steamed Kale (or whatever greens look good at the market)

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with carrots, spinach, 1/2 banana, stevia, lots of cinnamon, and hard-boiled egg

Lunch: Tuna salad with Mary’s Gone Crackers, carrots and cherry tomatoes

Snack: handful of nuts

Dinner: Grilled chicken on salad (kinda winging it based on what salad stuff I have left)

Wednesday

Breakfast: Cream of buckwheat with nuts or berries, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: zucchini “noodles” with a peanut sauce (kind of like Ricki’s Pad Thai, adapted for my needs)

Snack: nuts, carrots, or rice cake

Dinner: Cajun sausage pasta with “cream” sauce, zucchini (this will be an experiment!)

Thursday

Breakfast: same smoothie as Tuesday, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: leftovers

Snack: celery sticks with peanut butter

Dinner: Chicken Tacos/Salad with rice (using leftover chicken – since it will be a few days, I’ll probably freeze it Sunday and thaw for this meal)

Friday

Breakfast: GF oats with 1/2 banana, tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, cinnamon

Lunch: Spinach salad with tuna or chicken, cucumbers, carrots, tomato

Snack: Rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: Balsamic dijon pork tenderloin over polenta with roasted carrots

That’s it! We’ll see how close the actual meals come to that, but regardless, I’m crossing my fingers to see if those pesky “issues” improve.

Tell me – what do you think about seeing a meal plan from Tasty Eats At Home, regardless of whether it’s FODMAPs related or not? Is this beneficial for you? Would you like to see my meal plans every week? And if you have input about the FODMAPs diet, I’d love to hear it.

Also, there’s only a few hours left to enter for your chance to win a copy of Good Morning! Breakfasts without Gluten, Sugar, Eggs or Dairy by Ricki Heller! Check it out now and enter if you haven’t already. Giveaway ends tomorrow, Saturday, May 14, 2011.

11 Comments

Filed under Meal Plans

11 responses to “FODMAPs and a Meal Plan

  1. Fat lazy celiac

    Please keep doing the meal plans! As I continue to explore the best diet for me, this is an option I’ve considered & this is really helpful!

  2. I don’t pay much attention to weekly meal plans on blogs…tend to skip over them. BUT I know a lot of people really like them and find them helpful. And I’m really interested to hear how this FODMAPS food plan goes! I’m still having a ton of issues too, and every clinician I speak with has a different perspective on how to handle it. I have yet to figure out something to completely eliminate symptoms, although they’ve improved a lot (at least when I’m strict about all my food sensitivities).

  3. Betty

    I have been avoiding FODMAPS for about 5 months now.
    Patsy has a blog too. Sweet Potatoes have now been added to
    the FODMAPS list. I can eat a small amount of sweet potato.
    My symptoms are so much better. I now know how to keep down
    the pain, bloat, and constipation. Truly all FODMAPS have a threshold.
    I find that I can eat anything. (Just not in great amounts)
    Keeping my FODMAPS under control has given me back my life.
    I also have trouble with peanut butter, beans, and eggs. I do eat
    some of these foods too. I just have to watch it.
    It is all in the timing/spacing of troubled foods. My belly hasn’t looked
    nine months pregnant or, been in pain, since discovering FODMAPS.
    Wishing you well.

    Oh, no I am not a menu person. I will say reading your menu, if I ate
    that exact menu I would be sick. I have found for me, it isn’t just the
    FODMAPS in the food. It is also too much fiber. Lots of veggies in one
    meal will be a tummy problem. I learned this from reading
    a book from HelpForIBS.com Sorry I can’t remember the name of the book. However, the two books together have solved my tummy woes.
    I realize my food troubles will be different than yours. I just wanted to
    share to give you ideas to help yourself.
    I have to add, for me it is ALL of the FODMAPS that give me trouble. 😦
    I can eat fat, sucrose, and proteins. I tend to eat too many muffins, cupcakes, candy bars etc…….. These foods go down easy, give me quick energy, and zero tummy troubles. I don’t know what will happen to me
    in the long run. I know these foods are very low in nutrition. But, suffering everyday is no fun.

  4. YES!!!! Please keep doing your menu plans Alta, I find them very helpful, if for no other reason, than they spark ideas! I know my readers would love to see your meal plans too and I will be sure to share them. 😀

    I just read something about FODMAPS for the first time about 15 minutes ago, talk about timing! I’m off to read more about it…

    xo,
    Heidi

  5. I love the menu plans, and this whole food combination thing is very interesting. I follow a couple of guidelines based on some of what I’ve learned from the raw food community, and it’s fascinating to explore all this more in-depth. Thank you for the article, and I think the menus will prove very helpful! Nice work 🙂 And I’m now rather hungry…

  6. I’ve been avoiding FODMAPs and all forms of sugar for two+ weeks now and it is changing the way I feel dramatically. I no longer feel eight months pregnant. I’ll miss some veggies and fruits, I admit. But I’m feeling so much better, it’s worth it.

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  11. Kim Daniels

    If you’re stuck in a dinnertime rut and are battling runaway grocery bills, The Organized Cook will do the planning and organization for you to prepare healthy, delicious meals for your family while saving you lots of time and money; visit me at http://www.OrganizedCook.com.

    Kim Daniels
    Menu Planning

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