Author: Francesca - Mr Lee's Team
A few months ago we were contacted by a customer who was extremely happy she had come across our Zen Garden Vegetable noodles as she struggled to find low FODMAP foods that were kind to her gut and wouldn’t trigger her Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Later on, when Evie and Claudia from The Poodcast, a podcast for people with gastrointestinal disorders, asked us whether we would like to offer our gluten-free noodles to their listeners, we couldn’t say no! It makes us really happy we can contribute to expanding the product availability for people who suffer from gastrointestinal conditions.
Living with IBS can be challenging, especially at the beginning. The exact causes of this chronic condition are unknown and, unlike other health conditions, there is no specific treatment for it. Instead, there are strategies and tools and changes to diet and lifestyle that help to manage the symptoms.
There’s a lot of information out there and navigating through all of it may be overwhelming and confusing at the start, so we’ve put together a list of useful resources to help make your life a bit easier.
FODMAP friendly products
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with IBS, your doctor may have mentioned the low FODMAP diet and if you’ve looked into it you may be asking yourself whether you can still eat some of your favourite foods. Well, we’ve got good news, there are plenty of food businesses out there offering friendly gut foods to all of you.
There’s no need to stop eating delicious Italian food, Difatti have created a range of gluten-free products, made with the best ingredients and without compromising on flavour. Their gluten-free gnocchi come in several flavours to choose between plain, spinach and tomato, amongst others.
Fody Foods offer a range of healthy low FODMAP food products. From snack bars, sauces and spices to salad dressings, oils and salsas, their foods will definitely make it easier for you to follow the diet.
If you tend to get peckish throughout the day, FodBods have a variety of delicious and healthy bars that are perfect for both mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. They are certified FODMAP friendly and are GMO free.
Fancy a curry? Curry on Cooking’s spice mixes are a great option to cook up fabulous tasting curries that are kind to the gut! From Tikka Masala to Jalfrezi and Pakora, all their options are gluten and dairy free, with no additives or preservatives and free from sugar. Bay’s Kitchen also have a great range of curries and tomato sauces. Whip up a Thai green curry, a Mexican dish or a spicy arrabiata; all their sauces are FODMAP friendly.
Good Fibrations are ideal if you struggle to reach the recommended daily intake of fibre (30g). These high fibre snack bars come in 4 different flavours and contain a third of your daily fibre fix!
If you struggle to find instant cups of noodles which do not cause you to flare-up, look no further, our Zen Garden Vegetables are gluten and allium free, packed full of real vegetables and contain no artificial additives.
*Caveat: Please always make sure you read the label and check for potential trigger ingredients when looking for low FODMAP products.
The Monash University app is the go-to app for those people with IBS who want to search for low FODMAP foods. You will have to pay £7.99 to download it but it’s worth every penny. The app makes it quick to identify whether foods are low, moderate or high in FODMAPs and its food diary allows you to track your meals and record your symptoms. It also includes a library of recipes and selection of articles about diet as well as a shopping list feature.
Cara is the perfect app for those suffering from gastrointestinal issues. You can track anything from foods, symptoms and stress levels to sleep, water intake and exercise. One of its main features consists of displaying your best and worst IBS days based on the food you’ve had.
Another app that is good for monitoring how you feel is Bowelle. The app works as a “mood, food and symptom diary” and you can easily sync it with your Apple Health so that it shows your step count and sleep hours.
Flush is a fantastic app to have on your mobile when you are out and about. The app helps you to quickly and easliy locate the nearest public toilets. With a database of over 200,000 public conveniences around the world, you won't have to worry about finding a loo the next time you are visting a new place.
If you are a stationary lover, there are a few planners and journals out there that can help you plan, track and manage your gut issues.
Lottie Drynan (@lottiedrynan) is a well-known influencer in the online gut health world. One of her latest projects involves producing the My Tummy Diary a gut health journal to help people gain a better understanding of their physical and emotional wellbeing. The un-dated journal pages focus around four pillars: diet, stress, movement and sleep and the diary also includes pages full of useful information on mindfulness strategies, the gut-brain axis and the low fodmap diet, amongst others.
The Gut Diary from the people at The Gut Stuff offers six weeks’ worth of journaling which aim to make your life a bit easier. Their Gut Planning Kit which includes a weekly planner, a fermenting schedule and a variety checklist will also help keep track of and figure out your triggers.
The world of podcasts has gained a lot of popularity during the past few years. It’s a great platform to learn new things and expand your knowledge on a wide range of topics. There are podcasts on pretty much anything you can imagine, and of course, this also includes those specialised in IBS.
Hosted by Laura Tilt, dietitian experienced in IBS, and Huelya Akyuez, who has lived with IBS for over 20 years, The Gut Loving Podcast offers educational content for those with gut health issues. Listen to conversations about fermented foods, the use of probiotics and symptom management from both a professional and a patient perspective.
Claudia and Evie launched The Poodcast with the aim of sharing real life experiences in order to normalise gut problems and help people with bowel and bladder conditions not to feel shame and humiliation.
The Take Control podcast is another great resource of information. Kirsten Jackson, gastroenterologist specialist dietitian, interviews a range of guests. From medical experts to real life people, each episode focuses on a specific topic and provides practical advice on how to manage IBS.
Influencers and bloggers
Whether you are learning about the low FODMAP diet, just trying to manage your symptoms or helping a family member, the IBS online community can be very supportive and encouraging. Here are some influencers we think can really help you in your journey.
@Bloatedblogs is great if you are looking for honest posts about how to deal with IBS on a daily basis. For recipe inspiration on dishes for a happy gut you can follow @Thefodmapper and @Fodmapeveryday and for a bit of humour on living with IBS follow @Myibslife on Instagram. Their feed is full of memes and jokes around the struggles of IBS.
One of the main problems is that there isn’t enough awareness around IBS, but there are many influencers trying to spread the word and @Lottiedrynan is one of them. She has built a fantastic hub of content on her Instagram and is a source of encouragement and empowerment. Her online community You’ve gut this, is a fantastic space to share stories, knowledge and positivity and her bloat friendly wardrobe posts have also been a great hit.
Whilst we hope this extensive list of information, resources and tools proves helpful please bear in mind that IBS is different for everyone and we suggest you ask your doctor about how best to manage your symptoms and contact a certified nutritionist before starting the low FODMAP diet.