Nutrition Blog - Erin Skinner

Warm regards,

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Erin Skinner, MS, RD, IFNCP, CPT

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  1. Jennifer Slinkard says

    This is absolutely ridiculously unhelpful. Do you even have IBS? Can you name one Italian restaurant that is going to make a marinade without GARLIC?! Or kofta without onions? Or a sushi place that doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup in their sticky rice? Nearly every suggestion on here says “check to make sure the marinade doesn’t have onions or garlic,” but it’s not like the restaurants are going to pull out a piece of meat and make you a special low FODMAP marinade that will be ready for you the next day. More helpful would be dishes that are unlikely to have these marinades in the first place, or that are usually made totally fresh. When I’ve had Indian, I’ve asked which dishes aren’t made with any pre-made sauce, and I’ve had delicious cauliflower and okra dishes. For sushi, it’s best to skip the nigiri and just get sashimi with plain rice. I don’t even try Italian restaurants, or I just get dessert.

    • Erin Skinner says

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for your comment. I’m glad to hear that you’ve found what works for you. This is a hard topic because, after doing this with hundreds of people, I’ve learned that everyone ends up at a slightly different solution. For example, for some people, completely avoiding Italian, or ordering just dessert, would be unacceptable. So, this is a starting point for some but you sound like you’ve evolved beyond this to your own unique approach. That’s great! 🙂 – Erin

  2. Jennifer says

    Except, obviously it’s not working for me, or I wouldn’t need to read blogs to find what food I can order. Dessert ISN’T working for me; it’s just the only thing I’ve found doesn’t have garlic or onions. If everyone finds a different solution, as you say, why even try to pretend you have answers for us? I’m still wondering what your solution to “Italian food with no garlic” might include. Seriously, can you think of any suggestions that might be meaningful?

    • Erin Skinner says

      Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear that you’re suffering so much. As you found with Indian, many Italian restaurants will do the same – serve a dish without pre-made sauces. If they won’t work with you, it’s the wrong restaurant. Here are a few ideas for Italian off the top of my head:
      – Salad with non-marinaded protein and made only with low-FODMAP ingredients. Oil and vinegar to dress.
      – Simply cooked chicken breast or fish with a low FODMAP vegetable and possibly some gluten-free pasta with olive oil
      – Gluten-free pizza crust with a safe sauce, a little cheese, and low-FODMAP toppings

      If you’re struggling to figure out what you can eat at Italian restaurants, you probably don’t understand the low FODMAP diet well enough to know if it actually works for you or not. That’s completely normal and understandable, it’s hard to understand. It’s also not just a ‘diet’. It’s a process whereby you move through phases to arrive at your own individualized version of what works for you.

      Also, keep in mind that it’s effective for around 70% of IBS patients in the scientific literature and around 90% of my clients. So not 100%. You may be one of the unlucky few who need a more in-depth approach.

      So, I recommend working 1:1 with a professional to learn the diet protocol well, and to see if you need further interventions. Obviously, you don’t click with my approach. That’s OK, no one is perfect for everyone! Fortunately, there are many excellent FODMAP-trained dietitians who specialize in IBS. Here is a great place to start your search:

      Good luck to you! – Erin

    • Adrienne Brietzke says

      You use the guidelines. If you can’t find marinara with no garlic, make your own with garlic-infused oil. Look at what you CAN eat, not what you can’t. I order rice noodles – then pick out all the onion. It still flavors the dish, but I make sure I don’t eat it. That’s just an example-it’s about THINKING and figuring out what you CAN have. I’m fairly new to all this too. I’m learning by googling whether or not something I want to eat is low FODMAP. And I’ve picked up on a number of things that I can substitute- like wholeberry cranberry sauce instead of pie. I love tgem and it helps satisfy my sweets craving, in addition to being full of good nutrients- and acid. I’m prone to uti’s-the cranberries keep them at bay. Plus there’s some fiber, that helps with regularity, without being too much fiber on your system. There are tons of sites out there that you can use to glean all kinds of information. You have to work at it if you want relief. It won’t take ant more effort than whining.

      • Erin Skinner says

        Hi Adrienne, thanks so much for sharing these awesome tips, and for sharing your story! I love your cranberry sauce idea. 🙂 Stick with it, you are doing a great job and it does get easier with time. 🙂 Wishing you all the best! – Erin

    • Jan says

      Hi Jennifer
      I know is frustrating. Its hard to meal plan everyday. I have been doing th Fodmap diet for over a year. I have tried to add several foods at this point but its rare. For me there is no choice. It either eat like this or lay in the fetal position all day and never work. Okay, that said, I can tell you Italian is easy. You need to be your own chef. Some companies make a marinara without onion and garlic. But I make my own sauce. I use tomatoe paste, water, tomatoes chopped (a can), italian seasonings, and garlic infused olive oil, which is a great alternative to garlic. I make big batches and freeze some for easy cooking another night. I only use gluten free pasta, but there alot of great ones out there. I know its hard, but you can do it.

      • Erin Skinner says

        Hi Jan, thanks for sharing your story and this encouraging message! Good on you for taking control of your situation and finding something that works for you. 🙂 – Erin

  3. Sarah says

    I have to agree with Jennifer, with a lot less hostility though.
    I feel as though asking about garlic and onion free sauces at an Italian restaurant which just lead to questionable stares and unsolicited comments. It hard enough to find that kind of sauce in the grocery store let a long a restaurant that just makes a bunch of food in bulk throughout the week. And Mexican tacos without the garlic and onion… that just seems like a dream to me lol.
    I’m planning on starting this diet soon but wanted to be stocked full of knowledge and resources before starting. Not being able to eat out at restaurants is one of my biggest concerns and it seems like so far, the only place I’ll be safe is an American diner with all day breakfast. And even then, most likely no home fries will be allowed 🙁

    • Erin Skinner says

      Hi Sarah, I know….there’s really a grieving processes that comes with the realization that diet CAN control IBS, but that life won’t be the same. Trust me, with time, low FODMAP can be effective AND minimally invasive on your ability to go out an enjoy a restaurant meal. It does take time, practice, and good resources. I wish you luck as you get started! – Erin

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