Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you either completely ignore or go all-in. If it isn’t your thing, then you can just go on your merry way and follow your diet as you might on any other day. But what if you are into it and what about Valentine’s Day for FODMAPers? What if red heart-shaped boxes of chocolates make your heart race and you are first in line to buy those little “conversation” heart candies with sentiments like “I heart you” and “you’re the one”?
As with every other holiday, we have to make smart choices to stay within our low FODMAP diet, but it is possible. Let’s break down what we can eat, what we should steer clear of.
Valentine’s Day FODMAP Dos
- Chocolate: You can indulge in chocolate but keep it to 1 ounce/30 grams per serving of dark chocolate. For milk and white, because of the lactose content, the amount is lower but you can still have 1/2 ounce/15 g. Want a chocolate recipe? We’ve got lots!
- Champagne: Clink a glass and say yes to champagne or other bubbly drinks like prosecco or cava. Monash University says a serving of 5 ounces/150 ml is perfectly fine. Want to eat champagne? We can show you how to do that.
- Oysters: These bivalves have a reputation for being aphrodisiacs. Whether they truly are or not you can go ahead and indulge – as long as any accompanying sauce is low FODMAP.
- Caviar: Many restaurants have special “romance for two” menus and caviar is often featured. Go ahead and indulge! It is a protein and low FODMAP. You could even accompany it with a couple of mini white toast crackers, according to the Monash University Smartphone App. Or try our lactose-free Caviar Dip.
- Strawberries: Due to their vaguely heart shape, this juicy fruit also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac – and it is free from any detectable FODMAPs! Have a hefty serving! Feed your lover. Dip them in chocolate.
- Bananas: These are packed with vitamin B and potassium, which are said to help regulate sex hormone production. And it is phallic, so folks just think about them in that sexy way. You can have one-third of a ripe banana. Make it a quarter of a banana and dip it in the chocolate. (Sensing a trend here)?
- Heart Shaped Everything: How about some heart-shaped cookies? Using our gluten-free rolled sugar cookie recipe you can make cookies for your kid’s school needs or make them elegant for the adult crowd.
Valentine’s Day FODMAP Don’ts
- Filled Chocolate Bonbons: If someone gives you a beautiful box of filled chocolates, tread carefully as it is hard to know what they are made of. Sometimes you can figure out which ones are simply chocolate and nuts or chocolate and coconut, and those would be okay.
- Rich Dishes: If you go out to celebrate with a fancy meal, all the typical high FODMAP warnings apply, however this holiday also seems to bring out the fat use. Dishes with a lot of cream or cheese can be very heavy and while not high FODMAP per se in small portions, many of us with IBS also react to high-fat content dishes. Choose wisely.
- Asparagus: Speaking of aphrodisiacs, asparagus are considered stimulating as well so they tend to show up on Valentine’s Day menus. But they are a no-no for FODMAPers due to their fructose content.
- Cocktails: While many hard alcohols are low FODMAP, rum is high FODMAP. It finds its way into many mixed drinks, so if you are starting your celebrating with a mixed drink, steer clear of any with rum. Also, other than a small amount of orange or cranberry juice, you have to be careful of potentially high FODMAP juices, like mango.
- Honey: This golden, liquid sweetener shows up on many aphrodisiac lists as it has been used for centuries to increase sexual desire. Unfortunately, it is high FODMAP (fructose) and should be avoided. But you know we have plenty of sweet ideas for you here!
Happy Valentine’s Day to All of Our FODMAP Friends!
With Love From Dédé and Robin