If you have been diagnosed with IBS we encourage you to work with your gastroenterologist and/or registered dietitian and try the low FODMAP diet. You just might be one of the 75% of IBS sufferers who experience complete symptom relief.
The Low FODMAP Diet the FODMAP Everyday® Way
At FODMAP Everyday® we look at the diet as a 3-phase approach, which we divide into The Elimination Phase, The Challenge Phase and The Integration Phase.
Our mantra is:
The Elimination Phase is what you might have heard about – and what maybe confused you and/or scared you. When someone says “low FODMAP diet”, they are often talking about this phase, when in fact the low FODMAP diet is a system. We recommend that you undertake the low FODMAP diet under the guidance of a registered dietitian who is specifically knowledgeable about the diet.
There is no getting around the fact that this first Elimination Phase is restrictive – it is called an Elimination diet, after all – but this segment of the diet is only to be followed for a period of 2 to 6 weeks, so don’t worry! (Your RDN can help determine the time frame that is best for you). By eliminating high FODMAP foods your digestive track will calm down and you will very likely experience immediate relief.
You may want to read: The Low FODMAP Diet Elimination Phase: Short & Sweet for Your Health!
Typically within one week you will know if the diet is working for you and for many people, you might know within a few days! After experiencing so much pain and debilitating symptoms, oftentimes for years, we are betting that giving up some foods for a very brief period of time will feel like a reasonable trade-off.
The Challenge Phase involves a systematic reintroduction of FODMAPs back into your diet. Remember, FODMAPs are various small carbohydrates, which you can refresh yourself about in What Are FODMAPs?
Challenge & Re-Introduction
You might see this phase referred to as “re-introduction”. The reason we call it the Challenge Phase is because that is exactly what you will be doing: Challenging yourself with foods, one at a time, to assess your individual tolerance. If you fail with a food, RDs will oftentimes suggest that you try that food again at a later date, maybe 6 months down the road or so. This is what we call “re-introduction”, because you are re-introducing, not challenging for the first time.
Your dietitian will help you add individual foods back into your diet, one food at a time and one category at a time. You will document your digestive reactions, or lack thereof, and in this way you will learn what your own personal FODMAP roadmap is. The goal is to be able to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering GI symptoms.
This might sound complicated, but it really isn’t. It does take time – the Challenge Phase can last anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 months and is tagged onto the approximately one-month Elimination Phase. The timing will largely depend on whether you already know if you have certain FODMAP issues, such as a lactose intolerance, but you are in control of the Challenges and for so many of us, who have felt like our bodies were controlling us for so long, this alone is empowering.
Every day during the Challenge Phase you will learn more about what your body can tolerate and what it cannot, and this is information that not even your doctor can tell you! And most likely by this time in the diet you will be pain-free and symptom-free and amazed at how far you have come and in such a short period of time.
After Just Two-and-a Half to Three Months, You Could Be Loving Food Again!
At the end of The Challenge Phase you will know your triggers. And this means more than just which foods might cause a reaction. It means you will understand amounts as well, and this is really important. In many ways the low FODMAP diet is as much about portion size as it is about food choices.
You may want to read: What Is A Low FODMAP Serving Size?
For instance, you might learn that a three-scoop ice cream sundae sends your GI system into a tizzy, but that you can tolerate one scoop just fine. This means that the next time your child’s school has an ice cream social or the ice cream truck comes down the block on a hot summer’s day that you will be able to have a treat without repercussions. You will be able to participate in everyday life!
This is why we call ourselves FODMAP Everyday® – because we want you to THRIVE every single day, even while eating with an awareness of FODMAPs. Which leads us to The Integration Phase. Once you finish The Challenge Phase, many FODMAP resources stop there and figure, hey, you are ready to go live your life. But it isn’t so simple. Not until now, anyway!
When we scoured the landscape online and off for FODMAP resources, we were struck by several facts. The information out there was largely coming from academic resources such as Monash University (the originators of the diet), medical resources such as RDNs, bloggers with no scientific or recipe development credentials and there was a ton of misinformation out there, or at the very least, a lack of clarity in presentation. On top of all of this, the focus was always on The Elimination and Challenge Phases. In fact, many resources presented the diet as only a two-step approach.
We saw a huge gap. After a couple of months of testing your triggers, what follows is actually the most important, impactful and lengthy part of this diet, which was largely being ignored! We’re talking about the rest of your everyday life. FODMAPers were now left to their own devices to integrate all this newfound information into their lives. Where were the resources focusing on eating really well while remaining IBS symptom-free?
You may want to read: High FODMAP Foods With Low FODMAP Serving Sizes
The FODMAP Everyday® Difference
Yes, this is a scientifically based diet, but where was the true appreciation and love of food? Where was the lifestyle piece? We all eat numerous meals everyday. What happens when only one or two people in a household are following the low FODMAP diet? We make food at home; we pack lunches for school and work. We throw parties and still want to host Thanksgiving dinner! Once someone has gone through a couple of months of working with a dietitian and charting their reactions to eliminating and reintroducing foods, what happens next? How do you INTEGRATE your low FODMAP needs into your life?
That’s why we created FODMAP Everyday®. So that you can eat and eat well, all while integrating the information you have now gathered that is unique to you. Read more in-depth About FODMAP Everyday to get the most of what we have to offer you.
Here are the highlights:
- Dédé Wilson, co-founder of FODMAP Everyday® is trained in the use of the low FODMAP diet by Monash University, the originators of the diet.
- Dédé is accredited by FODMAP Friendly as a low FODMAP diet recipe developer.
- The FODMAP Everyday® brand is accredited by FODMAP Friendly as a reputable and reliable resource for the low FODMAP diet.
- Look for our exclusive recipes featuring our “e” for elimination icon using our Recipe Filter.
- Our Recipe Filter also allows you to search by individual FODMAPs, find Quick and Easy recipes, Gluten-Free, Dairy Free and more categories that will help you eat as deliciously and pain-free as possible – as easily as possible.
- Our original Recipes come from our own Test Kitchen, which is backed by over 30 years of professional recipe development experience.
- Our Success Team is made up of Monash University trained and qualified RDNs who know the low FODMAP diet inside and out. They can even help you navigate the diet from the comfort of your own home.
Our team of FODMAP trained RDs have created a library right here at FODMAP Everyday® of articles that will help you understand the diet as well as associated issues, such as the timing of of your digestive symptoms. We recommend the following articles as general self-education: