April is IBS Awareness Month, however due to the current situation (Covid-19) it hasn’t been the usual hype of activity. However, at Bay’s Kitchen we still felt it was really important to raise awareness of the condition and do what we can to help – we might all be in lockdown but it doesn’t mean our IBS is just going to disappear!
Therefore we have been sharing our ‘Top 10’ on all things IBS & the Low FODMAP Diet! From our tops recipes to the best ways to get started with the diet. This blog is a round up of them all!
Top 10 Tips on how to get started with the Low FODMAP Diet
Here we recommend our Top 10 tips on how to get started on the Low FODMAP Diet! Now is a great time to get started, though we always recommend to do the diet with the support of a Registered Dietician.
1. Understand the Diet
Understand the 3 Phases of the diet. We have information about them on our website. You shouldn’t be on elimination for more than 4 weeks!
2. Find a Registered Dietician
Find a Registered Dietician. If you can be referred by your GP then great but otherwise you can find one privately who is FODMAP and IBS trained.
3. Download the Monash App
Download the Monash University FODMAP App. It’s the best app and has a traffic light system for low, moderate and high FODMAP serves of each food.
4. Start a Food & Symptom Diary
Start a Food & Symptom Diary (we sell one on our website which you can buy here), as this will help you track your food intake and daily symptoms to help you begin to find patterns and identify your triggers. Your dietician and GP will want to see a Food & Symptom Diary to see what you have been eating and feeling to see how best to help and identify your triggers.
5. Stock up on Low FODMAP Foods
Make a list of Low FODMAP foods/ingredients to buy, and make sure you get some Low FODMAP convenient foods in too for those days where you don’t have much time – as this is where you are most likely to head back to high FODMAP foods! (We sell sauces on our website here, and FODMarket have lots on their website too!)
6. Join Support Groups
Join Facebook Low FODMAP Support groups as everyone on there is so supportive and will answer your questions! The IBS Network is also a great source of information and they run support groups too.
7. Buy Low FODMAP Recipe Books
Buy some good Low FODMAP recipe books, there’s lots of great ones to choose from (mentioned in our resources and cookbooks Top 10!) My personal favourite is still FODMAP Friendly Kitchen by Emma Hatcher.
8. Exercise Regularly
Whilst the Low FODMAP Diet is great, there are other things you need to do alongside the diet to help control your symptoms. One of them is to make sure you exercise regularly. It doesn’t have to be high intensity, walking and yoga are both great for people with IBS.
9. Relax & Destress
Stress will cause flareups, so try to reduce the stress in your life. Find good ways to wind down in the evening, try not to get so stressed about little things which don’t matter and learn to relax more when you have had a stressful day… perhaps have a bath, read a good book or do some yoga.
Along with the Low FODMAP Diet and de-stressing, a good night sleep is key to reducing IBS flareups. Don’t underestimate how much a good nights sleep helps your body.
Top 10 Low FODMAP Foods / Ingredients
Here we recommend our Top 10 Foods/Ingredients! These are the foods we are so happy are Low FODMAP and they are great for creating delicious meals and snacks!
- Strawberries & Blueberries
- Cheese! (only some kinds but cheddar and mozzarella are Low FODMAP!)
- Fish & Prawns!
- Dark chocolate
- Wine (a small glass!)
Top 10 Resources & Cookbooks
Here we recommend our Top 10 Resources & Cookbooks for managing your IBS and following the Low FODMAP Diet…
- Monash University FODMAP App
- Food & Symptom Diary (we have one available on our website here)
- The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen Cookbook by Emma Hatcher
- The Gut Friendly Cookbook by Alana Scott
- FODMarket – online shop full of Low FODMAP foods
- Tilt Nutrition Website by Laura Tilt, Registered Dietician & Health Writer
- Facebook Groups (for support, getting questions answered quickly etc) – there are lots to choose from, just type in Low FODMAP!
- The Low FODMAP Recipe Book by Lucy Whigham
- She Can’t Eat What blog by Emma Hatcher
- Bay’s Kitchen Blog & Recipes (sorry we had to feature in there somewhere, click here for recipes and here for our other blog posts!)
Top 10 Ways to reduce symptoms
Here we recommend our Top 10 ways to reduce symptoms and the amount of IBS flareups you have:
- Follow a Low FODMAP Diet
- Reduce portion sizes
- Don’t drink fizzy drinks
- Reduce the stress in your life
- Good night sleep
- Comfy clothes – don’t wear things too tight on your tummy!
- Light exercise each day
- Happiness! Get the serotonin flowing around your body!
- Take Probiotics
Top 10 Blogs & Websites
Here we provide our list of Top 10 Blogs & Websites for those with IBS and following a Low FODMAP Diet. Have a look below at which ones we love for info, tips, recipes and more:
- She Can’t Eat What (Emma Hatcher)
- A Little Bit Yummy (Alana Scott)
- Tilt Nutrition (Laura Tilt)
- The Tummy Diaries (Lottie)
- Everyday Nutrition (Joanna Baker)
- FODMAP Everyday
- Bay’s Kitchen (You’re already on it! ?)
- The IBS Network
- Gluten Free Stories (Stefani Weiss)
- Sophie Bibbs
Top 10 Low FODMAP Recipes
Top 10 Low FODMAP Recipes, and this was the hardest one to choose as there are sooooo many good ones out there!:
- Bay’s Kitchen – Sweet & Sour Sticky Tofu with Wild Rice & Edamame Beans (View here)
- Bay’s Kitchen – Baked Cod Korma (View here)
- She Can’t Eat What? – Courgette, Feta & Herb Fritters
- She Can’t Eat What – Root Veg & Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Sage & Brown Butter Walnuts
- Becky Excell – Cinnamon Rolls
- Becky Excell – Salt & Pepper Chips
- A Little Bit Yummy – Pumpkin & Ricotta Pasta Bake
- A Little Bit Yummy – Mini Banana Pancakes
- Gluten Free Stories – Creamy Tomato Risotto
- Gluten Free Stories – Carrot Cake
Top 10 Things To Remember
For IBS Awareness Month we are running our Low FODMAP Diet & IBS Top 10! Today it’s the Top 10 Things to remember, and this is more about your mindset when it comes to IBS and following a Low FODMAP Diet:
- Just because you have a bad day, or even a week, don’t give up. Keep going as you already halfway there
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Living with IBS is hard and so is following a Low FODMAP Diet, so give yourself a break!
- Reduce stress as much as possible from your life. Learn to only worry about the really big things, as it’s not worth the pain when you get worked up over the small things
- Seek help from a Registered Dietician if you are looking to start the Low FODMAP Diet
- The Elimination phase of the diet should only be followed for a maximum of 4 weeks
- Talk about your symptoms, IBS, and experience to others. You’ll be amazed that nearly everyone with either be suffering themselves too or know someone close who is and so they understand. It’s a huge weight lifted when you share!
- Exercise is good for IBS! You might not always feel like doing exercise, but even a walk, swim or yoga are great for reducing symptoms. It doesn’t have to be crazy HIIT training to be classed as exercise!
- Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise in managing your symptoms! Getting a good night sleep each night will really help to reduce your flare-ups
- Monash Uni have tested different portion sizes of lots of foods, so don’t cut out everything thinking it’s high FODMAP, when you can still enjoy small portion sizes which are Low FODMAP. It’s key to keep variety in your diet!
- 1 in 5 of us suffer with IBS, so you aren’t in this alone!
We really hope you have found our Top 10 Low FODMAP Diet & IBS Series useful! If you have any recommendations we have missed which should definitely be in the top 10, or you have any questions please email us at .
Written by Bay Burdett, Founder & CEO of Bay’s Kitchen.
Copyright Bay’s Kitchen. Please do not reprint without permission.