Looking back, now I've got to grips with this lowFODMAP malarky, there are a lot of things I wish I knew before I even got started. So I've gathered them together into a handy list for you, so you can properly prepare for the diet, without going hungry or getting overwhelmed.
1. Gather & try out recipes.
Before you actually start, gather recipes you can try, so you have a well practiced repertoire of meals before you go full-lowFODMAP. My website ;), Pinterest, instagram and Jo Stepaniak's book are good places to start.
2. Start a food & symptoms diary.
Start a food diary - you need to remember your current situation. I found I started to forget how terrible I used to feel and then get cocky! I use my journal not to keep track and remind myself why I'm doing this.
3. Go in open-minded!
I was convinced sweet potatoes didn’t agree with me and I could eat mangoes all day. Oh how wrong I was! So try and be objective and scientific about it and let go of any suspicions you have now. This way you can properly interpret your results.
4. Let go of the "desire" to eat out.
Don’t expect to safely eat out... you’re going to save a lot of money! You could put this towards something you wanted to save for, to turn it in to a positive thing. I have friends and family round for dinner a lot these days. It's a lot easier to just accept that's the way it will be for a while, sorry!
5. Have a quick explanation ready.
Find a phrase you are comfortable using to explain to the diet to people. It's an unusual way to eat and you'll almost always be the odd one out. It's also quite personal, so having a response ready will save you going into much embarrassing details about your digestive issues when you don't want to.
6. Get help from a medical professional.
Obviously get the help of a dietician/Dr if it’s available to you, especially if you have any other conditions or dietary concerns.
7. Don’t worry! It gets easier!
I was so miserable when I first started and was researching it. It felt like I couldn’t eat everything I liked. But really, once you know how to LowFODMAP-a-fy things and have several favourite meals in your arson, it’s all good. Really! You can do it.
8. Start the habit of prepping snacks.
Changing habits is hard, so if you can get the ball rolling you take the jump, it make life a lot easier. Start the habit of prepping snacks now, and then when you HAVE to, you'll be less overwhelmed.
9. Stock up on Tupperware.
If you don’t already have some, you’re going to need a bunch of Tupperware to deal with all the small portions. It will save you find to batch weighing and also save the awkward leftovers such and 2/3s of a banana.
10. Stock up on lowFODMAP store cupboard food!
Stock up on lowFODMAP flavours & carbs... I’ll probably make a video of my staples at some point. But products such as gluten-free pasta, rice, rice noodles, polenta etc are very useful to always have on hand.
11. Get in the habit of checking labels.
Start checking labels before you go full-lowFODMAP. You don’t have to get rid of them, but as you cook and eat, read the labels and start to learn what’s LowFODMAP and what’s not. It’s a big job, so it’s better to do it gradually.
12. Start lowFODMAP stashes.
If you visit a friend, partner or family member a lot, suggest keeping some lowFODMAP foods there. For example, at my boyfriends having gluten-free pasta, oats, tea, peanut butter and oat cakes has my so much less hungrier! This would also be sensible for your place of work if you can keep some stuff in your desk drawer.
If you have been lowFODMAPing for a while, what tips do you wish you knew before you started?