It’s almost holiday season and many people will be traveling to share the special occasions with their loved ones. But, if you have IBS and are following the low FODMAP diet, this can mean added stress about what to eat. Here’s a few quick tips to keep in mind so you can enjoy the festive season without worrying about gut issues.
Pack lots of “safe” snacks for travel. Just in case you aren’t near a good source of low FODMAP foods, you’ll want to have options. Safe crackers, cheese, nut butter, trail mix, muesli bars, fruit or cookies/biscuits can make a satisfying meal in a pinch.
Research local markets and grocery stores where you’ll be staying. Often times, you may find websites in certain countries that highlight low FODMAP, gluten free or other specialized restaurants and stores. You can also seek out local Facebook groups that offer information on low FODMAP products and restaurants in the region and get advice from area folks in-the-know.
Consider shipping food to your location. Amazon carries a ton of low FODMAP products, as do FODShop (Australia), and FODMarket (UK). FODY Foods also offers delivery of FODMAP-friendly foods in the US and internationally.
Choose simple meals when dining out. Look for or request basic meals that include plain protein (chicken, fish, meat, eggs) and safe sides, such as plain potatoes, rice or quinoa, along with plain low FODMAP vegetables, and order sauces and dressings on the side. For breakfast, stick with eggs and oatmeal, or a safe bread with butter or nut butter and low FODMAP fruit. And, be sure to keep the Monash University Low FODMAP app with you at all times to check items for safety and/or proper portion sizes.
Print out low FODMAP cards in the local language, if traveling overseas. These can be lifesavers when trying to communicate with restaurant staff in different countries. Kate Scarlata and Casa die Santé offer cards you can share with chefs and servers, or you can also use Google Translate and make your own. The Google Translate app also has a great feature that allows you to translate menus from one language to the next “on the fly” by holding your smart phone over the menu.
Most of all, enjoy your time with family and friends! Do some advance planning and then try not to let worries about your gut interfere with your holiday season. Health is about the WHOLE you, including your own happiness and joy. Find the balance that works best for you. xo