Epicured for Low FODMAP Patients

ANYONE following the low FODMAP diet knows the STRUGGLE associated with figuring out what to eat. So many foods are restricted in Phase 1 and figuring out meals can be stressful.

Cue Epicured!!

I had the privilege of trying out a new meal delivery service called Epicured. This is truly a game-changer for patients dealing with gut issues such as Crohn’s, IBS, and SIBO.  Their meals are low fodmap as well as gluten-free. It is a wonderful option when you are struggling with what to eat or just don’t want to cook! 

Let me share with you my thoughts after using the service:

  1. Great Website: The website is super user-friendly and easy on the eyes.  You can browse through all the meal and food options to get an idea of what you will receive. Beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions are shown for all options. The ordering process is easy as well.
  2. Variety: Y’all, there are so many different options at Epicured. You can order basic chicken (though the sauce that accompanies this is anything but basic) to Tikka Massala. They even have side dishes, chia pudding, smoothies, and snacks.  You can order an entire day’s worth of food or a few dinners a week. 
  3. Packing: Everything came packed so well. The box was delivered with an insulated padding and multiple large cooler packs. Bonus, the cooler packs are reusable!! Everything was very organized and labeled in durable packaging. They even include directions on how to best heat up the meals for optimal enjoyment.
  4. Taste: The food is good! I found I had favorites among the meals I chose. My favorites included the Lemon Rosemary Chicken, Tofu Tikka Masala, and Baked Lasagna Bolognese. They use high-quality ingredients and it shows in the flavor of the food. There are many types of veggies used in the meals from radishes to kabocha squash. This ensures you are getting a nice variety of plant foods.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Epicured! It is a wonderful and delicious way to save time and add some variety to your diet in a safe and gut-friendly way! 

MU

Epicured provided products for this post, however, the opinions are completely ours based on our experience with Epicured.

Could the ibs–smart™ test be the answer for your IBS?

IBS is a stressful and oftentimes debilitating condition. Patients are put through exhaustive testing to understand the onset of their symptoms.  IBS is the diagnosis given when symptoms fit the Rome IV criteria, although commonly no other intestinal damage is apparent.

ibs–smart™ test was developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The test was designed to diagnose post-infectious IB (PI-IBS), which produces the same symptoms but is developed after an episode of foodborne illness. The test measures antibodies produced by the body following a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection of the GI tract. It is about 98% accurate. A simple blood draw can reduce unnecessary and invasive testing for patients.

There is still research needed to understand how foodborne infection can lead to PI –IBS, but some ideas include: 

  • Alterations in the gut lining
  • Changes in gut motility (movement)
  • Immune system activation 
  • Decreased enzyme activity

Though this test is promising, it still has some potential drawbacks. 

There are still questions about how broadly applicable this test is for IBS sufferers.  Not all IBS stems from foodborne illness. IBS with constipation (IBS–C) doesn’t present with the same characteristics as IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) or IBS with constipation and diarrhea (IBS-M).  Unless patients can attest to developing their GI symptoms following foodborne illness, it is unclear whether the ibs–smart™ test will give insight for all patients. 

So what is the takeaway? 

The ibs–smart™ test is a great first step in diagnosing IBS in a more timely and cost-effective manner, but should not be used as the sole diagnostic tool.  Talk to your doctor and see if the ibs–smart™ test is right for you!

MU

Should I see a Registered Dietitian?

should I see an RD

Are you pregnant, looking to become pregnant, or postpartum? Need to maintain health in your older years? Are you an athlete looking to increase performance? Do you want help managing your weight? 

When it really boils down to it, eating right can be a real challenge. From the messages we see on TV, read in magazines, and hear from peers, it sometimes feels like our food choices become more limited one day to the next. Many people become overwhelmed when they begin to overhaul their eating plan. 

It doesn’t have to be that way! Registered Dietitians are also known as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN) are the food experts. 

Not only that, they have the knowledge to motivate and safely guide you to eat mindfully.

It’s the work schedule, accessibility, budget, tolerances, and so much more.

Registered Dietitians are credentialed providers who have completed education and training established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. All RDs or RDNs must:

  • Have at least a four-year degree which includes a specially designed, accredited nutrition curriculum.
  • Complete at least 1200 hours of supervised practice at a healthcare facility, foodservice organization and/or community agency.
  • Pass a board exam.

Many RDs and RDNs hold graduate degrees and many have certifications in specialized fields, such as eating disorders, sports, pediatric, renal, oncology or gerontological nutrition.

BNs Dietitians can help you discover strategies to make positive behavior change. Need to find a Registered Dietitian near you? Check out the link: https://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert

KD

Low FODMAP Roasted Carrots with Almond Maple Drizzle

low fodmap roasted carrots

We’re always inspired by fellow IBS dietitians. Kate Scalara, RD is one of our favorites. Today, we are sharing another recipe inspired by her. Not only is this recipe low FODMAP, it’s also delicious and nutritious!

Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, beta-carotene and have 2 grams of fiber.

Another bonus: Carrots have no detectable FODMAPs!

Lactose-free yogurt can be substituted for Greek yogurt in this recipe.

Low FODMAP Roasted Carrots with Almond Maple Drizzle

What you Need:

  • 1 lb. multi-color carrots (small to medium size, we found these at Sprouts off MacArthur and 122nd)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Maple Drizzle:

  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped kale or parsley (optional)

What to Do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss carrots in olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Salt and pepper carrots, to taste. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until fork tender, turning halfway during roasting time.

In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, almond butter, and maple syrup until creamy. When carrots are done, spread maple mixture over the middle of the carrots. Garnish with sliced almonds and kale.

Enjoy!

LN

What is The Low FODMAP Diet?

This week, our focus is the Low FODMAP Diet.

FODMAP stands for:

Fermentable

Oligosaccharides,

Disaccharides,

Monosaccharides,

And

Polyols   

FODMAPs are a group of fermentable carbohydrates that can cause severe aggravation such as stomach cramps,  gas and bloating, reflux, flatulence and bowel urgency, in people with IBS.

FODMAPs are prebiotics and found in a large range of foods. Prebiotics supports the growth of good gut bacteria. Because of this, UNLESS you have been diagnosed with IBS, the Low FODMAP Diet is not advisable without talking to your dietitian.

The Low FODMAP Diet has dramatically improved GI symptoms in many people with IBS.

If you have IBS and would like to know more about how The Low FODMAP Diet may work for you, contact Banister Nutrition. Our dietitians can get you back on track of enjoying foods again.

KD

Hill, P., Muir, J. G., & Gibson, P. R. (2017). Controversies and Recent Developments of the Low-FODMAP Diet. Gastroenterology & hepatology13(1), 36–45.

Tips To Control Your IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal tract disorder. Which is caused by changes in how the GI tract works. Symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea. While it may be painful, IBS does not damage your organs or lead to disease.

Here are a few ways to control your IBS:
Avoid high-gas food. If you suffer from bloating and gas, you may find relief by reducing or avoiding high-gas foods like carbonated beverages, salads and raw fruits and vegetables, especially crucifers like broccoli and cauliflower.
Increase fiber slowly. Quickly adding fiber to your diet may cause gas and trigger other symptoms, so increase intake slowly by 2-3 grams per day to reduce the risk.
Eat smaller meals instead of three big meals every day.
Keep a food log. Record what and when you eat, your symptoms and bowel movements. This will help you determine which foods worsen your IBS.

Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) is not a disease; it is a group of symptoms that occur together that affect the large intestine. One in five Americans and twice as many women as men experience symptoms of IBS. Though no specific cause is known, several factors may contribute to IBS, including heredity, lifestyle, allergies, an infection or an abnormally large number of bacteria growing in the intestine.
The best way to manage IBS is to understand what may cause episodes of discomfort and then work to eliminate or minimize them. While medication, stress management and supplements can help, the focus should be on diet and eating habits.
  • Establish Regular Eating Habits. Eating at regular times helps regulate your bowels.
  • Eat Small, Frequent Meals Instead of Large Ones. This will ease the amount of food moving through your intestinal tract.
  • Eat Fiber-Rich Foods. Try whole fruits, vegetables (including beans) and whole grains like rolled oats, brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Make changes slowly. Fiber helps move food through your intestine, but it takes time for your body to adjust to eating more. Adding too much fiber too quickly may result in gas, bloating and cramping.
  • Drink Enough Fluids. Fiber draws water from your body to move foods through your intestine. Without enough water and fluids you may become constipated.
  • Watch What You Drink. Alcohol and caffeine can stimulate your intestines and cause diarrhea. Artificial sweeteners that contain sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol may cause diarrhea too. Carbonated drinks can produce gas.
  • Identify Problem Foods and Eating Habits. Keeping a food diary during flare-ups can help you figure out what you may be eating that’s causing a problem.
Although the focus should be on diet, many people with IBS turn to complementary health practices to help relieve their symptoms, and there is emerging evidence that some of these practices may have modest benefits.
If you are thinking about a complementary health practice for IBS, here’s what you need to know:
  • Herbal remedies. Herbal remedies are commonly used for IBS symptoms; however, much of the research on these remedies has been done in China. A review of clinical trials for 71 herbal remedies found limited evidence suggesting that a few of these herbal remedies might help improve IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. However, the review emphasizes that the studies were generally of poor quality.
  • Peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is one herbal remedy often used to treat IBS for which there are mixed results. There is some evidence that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may be modestly effective in reducing several common symptoms of IBS—especially abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Non-enteric coated forms of peppermint oil may cause or worsen heartburn symptoms, but otherwise appear to be generally safe.
  • Probiotics. Probiotics such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are live microorganisms that are similar to microorganisms normally found in the human digestive tract, and they have been associated with an improvement in IBS symptoms compared with placebo. Results of studies suggest probiotics may decrease some patients’ abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.
  • Acupuncture. While a few small studies have indicated that acupuncture has some positive effect on quality of life in people with IBS, reviews of the scientific literature have concluded that there is no convincing evidence to support the use of acupuncture for the treatment of IBS symptoms.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
To learn more about managing symptoms of IBS, consult your doctor and a registered dietitian. sls