IBS? This One’s For You!

IBS? UGH!

If you know what it’s like to get the dreaded diagnosis of IBS and deal with painful (and downright irritating) symptoms like gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea or constipation, you may be sensitive to FODMAPs. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides and Polyols. I think I prefer the acronym. FODMAPs are carbohydrates, including types of sugars and fibers, that can be poorly absorbed, fermented, and then cause of a lot of gastrointestinal distress when taken in too large quantities.

 

By trying to follow a “healthy” diet, you may be eating a lot of FODMAP-containing foods. Consider this day’s meals:

  • Breakfast: cereal with raisins and soy milk
  • Lunch: veggie burger wrap with hummus
  • Snack: yogurt with berries and nuts
  • Dinner: three-bean chili with broccoli

Though at first glance, we could say this person is healthy, eating a plant-based high-fiber diet rich in veggies, fruit, and lean protein, this diet could be the exact thing causing IBS symptoms.

 

Flavor Without FODMAPs

Enter Patsy Catsos, registered dietitian and FODMAP expert. Patsy is the author of IBS-Free at Last!, an excellent book that has guided me in my treatment of IBS, and her new cookbook Flavor Without FODMAPs: Love the Foods that Love You Back.

 

Flavor Without FODMAPs

 

If you still don’t quite understand what FODMAPs are, Patsy goes through the various types and sources and gives a “nutshell” version of the elimination diet. All the 122 recipes in her book are ok for both the elimination diet (which is a temporary, learning experience), and the subsequent low-FODMAP diet. Patsy covers all the FAQs with guidance on how to stock your pantry and read labels, to answering the common plight of “what about garlic?”. Garlic lovers will be glad to know that she has a solution. Included is one week of menus to get you started with meal planning as well as two days specifically for lacto-ovo vegetarians and one day for vegans. Note that following a vegetarian or vegan low-FODMAPs diet has its challenges, since plant food and proteins naturally contain more FODMAPs.

 

After a brief overview of “fun food language” and learning new words like tinned, rock melon, and afters (a very pragmatic term for dessert), come the recipes. Not only are the recipes simple and easy to follow with a short list of ingredients, but the nutrition facts are also provided along with recipe tips including substitutions, brands of items, serving ideas, tools, and other helpful details.

There is a wide variety of recipes ranging from Foccaccia Rolls and Hash Brown Quiche, to homemade condiments, vegan entrees utilizing tofu, tempeh, and seitan, and finishing with “afters” like crustless kabocha pie (yum!).

 

Patsy allowed me to share a recipe with you! Here’s the one I chose:

 

Rosemary-Scented Rice Crackers

Used with Permission

 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (or my favorite truffle olive oil from Paris!)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (like Real Salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, or more to taste (I used a whole teaspoon)
  • ¼ cup water

Ingredients Crackers

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.
  • Pat the dough out on an ungreased cookie sheet using a spoon (or spatula), then your fingers, until it is about 1/16-inch thick. Score with a knife into squares of rectangles, if desired. (A pizza cutter is great for this. Highly recommend this step!)

Cutting Crackers

  • Bake for 10 minutes, then turn oven off and allow crackers to cook with the oven door closed for another 10 minutes.
  • Using a thin metal spatula (I used parchment paper so my crackers came right off), remove crackers from the cookie sheet and store in an airtight container. These keep well for up to a week.

Finished Crackers

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