I have been suffering with IBS for a fair few years, though I was only properly diagnosed in the last 18 months or so. Below are the top 5 resources that I use nearly everyday now, and that I wish I had known about long go! I wanted to share these with you as I think you will find them incredibly useful, supportive and inspiring too!
1. Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App
The Monash University App is my ‘go-to’ app for searching if something is low FODMAP and at what quantity. Their traffic light system clearly highlights which foods are low, moderate or high in FODMAPs at a glance and the search filter works brilliantly, so you don’t have to trawl through all the categories each time.
The app also features a food diary log, where you can input the meals you have and record your symptoms at the end of the day. With a reminder notification – you won’t forget to use the diary and so it becomes a useful resource to track your symptoms and begin to uncover patterns from which foods may be triggers for you.
They also have some delicious recipes on there and you can easily add all the ingredients for each to the shopping list feature they have. As you wonder around the supermarket you can easily tick off the ingredients as you put them in your trolley. However, for food shopping the next app is fantastic.
2. Food Maestro FODMAP App
Developed in partnership with Kings College London and Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust, the Food Maestro Fodmap App is (in our opinion) well worth the £3.99 annual subscription fee.
What sets this app apart from the Monash University App is its log of well-known brands found in UK supermarkets. It’s much more specific – so rather than looking for individual ingredients or general foods, you can find specific, branded items like “Waitrose Valencia Orange Lollies” and “Nairn’s Gluten Free Biscuit Breaks Oats & Fruit”.
This apps barcode scanner is its number one feature! With over 100,000 products already on there and more being added all the time, you can easily go around the supermarket with the scanner and scan items you’d like to buy to see if there are suitable on a low FODMAP diet first. It’s so simple and saves so much time from reading the labels of every item you pick up!
3. Low FODMAP Facebook Groups
Click the links below and request to join! If you aren’t based in the UK, search to see if there is a more local one to you. The Low FODMAP Recipes & Support group (at the time of writing this article in Feb 2017) has nearly 11,500 members from across the world. It is amazing to be part of such a large group of fellow low fodmappers from around the globe, all sharing tips, recipes, support and daily stresses that we can all relate to!
IBS can be quite a lonely and embarrassing condition to live with and so it is so nice to know there is a huge group of love and support right at your fingertips. When I’m having a good day, it’s good to go on and share with others to inspire them and share some positivity, and when you’re having a bad day it’s great to go on and read messages of positivity, hear that everyone is going through the same thing and ask for advice and support. No one can quite understand what we go through unless they have IBS and so it’s great to keep a support network people who do have IBS around you.
The Low Fodmap UK group is another of my favourites that I’d recommend, as it’s more local to me. When people are discussing and recommending products and where to buy them, you’ve got a far better chance of getting hold of the same thing – as in this group we are at least all in the same country! It just creates a bit more relevance around certain topics – especially sharing suitable dishes we have found in chain or local restaurants, or restaurants we have found who have been very accommodating to our needs – as eating out can be one of the hardest areas of dealing with IBS and following a low FODMAP diet. Finally, a local group is great because you can make friends and more easily arrange to meet up, like I have already done!
4. A Little Bit Yummy – Blog by Alana Scott
This blog is a godsend! It’s a fantastic hub of information, advice and recipes for following a low FODMAP diet and how to deal with IBS on a day-to-day basis. I genuinely look forward to each new blog article as they are all sources of either really useful information and tips or delicious recipes (which have been approved by trained dieticians for being low FODMAP)
A few of my favourite recipes and blog articles from her to share with you:
A Little Bit Yummy
Travelling? Get your food ready in advance
13 low FODMAP foods you didn’t realise you could freeze
5 things no one tells you about FODMAP reintroduction
Dark chocolate and raspberry muffins
Low FODMAP blueberry smoothie
5. “She can’t eat what?!” – Blog & cookbook by Emma Hatcher
Emma Hatcher is my favourite UK blogger. Why? Because she is actively working to build awareness in the UK about IBS and the low FODMAP diet, which is part of my mission with Bay’s Kitchen. Our lives as IBS sufferers would be made an awful lot easier if there was far more awareness about the condition and the diet.
As Emma has titled her blog – “She can’t eat what?!” – this is exactly what goes through the minds, and often past the lips, of so many people we encounter in our day to day lives whether it’s friends, family or the waiter at a local restaurant.
There’s a distinct lack of understanding about IBS and the low FODMAP diet with anyone who doesn’t follow it and Emma has already done an amazing job to start filling in this knowledge gap through the local and national media.
Emma has recently launched a new cookbook called ‘The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen’. The cookbook is fantastic – all recipes have been approved by FODMAP Friendly and they are delicious. A couple of my firm favourites so far are:
Lazy baked eggs with spicy tomatoes & feta
Prawn, courgette & chilli linguine
Prawn tortillas with sweet & spicy pineapple salsa
Banana & hazelnut muffins
Whilst these are all fantastic resources, we still recommend to speak with your doctor and work with a trained dietitian before starting on the low FODMAP diet and ensure they have a plan tailored to you.
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