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Top 5 Tips for Travelling with IBS

Feature, Gut Health & IBS | December 5, 2016

A young girl feeding her father a nutritious homemade sandwich.
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Hey Ya’ll. IBS and the low FODMAP diet appears cut and dry. A big list of don’t eats. Appears easy on the surface. But once you actually begin to implement it, you realize that it is actually QUITE HARD to do practically.

One of the biggest struggles my clients have is with travelling. So I am SO glad to introduce Liz from Fodmappin’ the Globe. She is literally travelling the WORLD right now, while following a modified low FODMAP diet! So to say she is an expert in the practical implementation of FODMAP’s is an understatement. When she agreed to guest blog on her top 5 tips for travelling with IBS, I was THRILLED! So without further adieu…

Hi there! I’m Liz from Fodmappin’ The Globe. I’ve been traveling with my partner for 5 months through America and Europe with that somewhat pesky need to follow a modified low-FODMAP diet.

Believe me, when I first had the light-bulb moment to go on extended travel I quashed those thoughts well down because what was going to be out there in the big wide world for someone with so many food restrictions as a FODMAPer??

But do you know what? The world is MUCH more accommodating than I gave it credit for, and it is ABSOLUTELY possible for us all to be Fodmappin’ the Globe.

Top 5 tips for travelling with IBS and low FODMAP diet - from Fodmappin' the globe - an Ignite Nutrition feature - Calgary Alberta dietitian Andrea Hardy

My top 5 tips to travel with IBS and make sure your belly also has a relaxing vacation:

  1. Utilize the excellent work the gluten-free community has done in documenting gluten-free restaurants, cafes and bars. On my way to a new city I jump on Google or Pinterest and do a quick search of gluten-free restaurants/cafes/bakeries recommended by bloggers, restaurant reviewers or the like. With one FODMAP requirement out of the way, it’s easy to maneuver the rest of the menu to suit your restrictions. Looking at vegan/vegetarian restaurants is also a good option as they are conscious of food restrictions.
  1. Stock up on FODMAP friendly snacks at supermarkets. Most easy-to-find, cheap, fast street foods are teeming with FODMAPs. Think baked goods, ice-cream and lots of bread! Already armed with your FODMAP friendly snacks such as nut bars, bananas, tinned tuna and rice cakes helps to ward of the ‘hangry’ until you can find a suitable restaurant to eat.
  1. Use an App such as Google Translate to work out the phrases you’ll need to know if travelling in a country with another language. “Gluten-free”, “no onion”, “no garlic” and “Do you have soy milk?” are phrases I use constantly for eating out and checking product labels. Having said that we haven’t had too much trouble with the language barrier in European countries so make sure you also ask your waitstaff about your restrictions.
  1. Try to take advantage of self-catering facilities in apartments, AirBnB’s and hostels. Not only does this reduce costs but it ensures you know exactly what is going into your meal, giving you a little bit of freedom to experience the local delicacies when you venture out as your FODMAP loading is low.
  1. Relax! So many FODMAPers also often suffer from anxiety and stress, so you need to remember that you’re on vacation, and although still having to be aware of your food restrictions, don’t let the thought consume you. Splurge on sharing a waffle or an ice-cream cone knowing you looked after your FODMAP loading with your other meals.

For any other tips on Fodmappin’ the Globe don’t be shy to follow me on Instagram or my blog.

Liz x

One response to “Top 5 Tips for Travelling with IBS”

  1. Nice one Liz! Love it.

    Something I discovered in my travels around Asia was that there are also often different interpretations of words – i.e. details can get lost in translation. I was so confused when I would go to restaurants and ask for no onion, and yet my dish would appear with red onion, shallots and spring onion on it. After doing some research I found that that there’s something that gets lost in translation with onion. This means that if you’re sensitive to all the ‘onions’ it’s important to specify! So, I’ll need to say, please can you make sure there is no onion, red onion, spring onion or shallots. This has made a huge difference to my travels as well as eating out locally in my favourite Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. Happy travelling and love the blog!

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