What is a FODMAP? I have been gluten and dairy-free on and off for many years now in a effort to heal my gut. Turns out I’m doing it all wrong…sort of. I remember there was a time when I avoided certain foods, like onions, garlic, cabbage, etc. But then when I was studying nutrition I learned so much about the healing benefits of foods; particularly vegetables, that I wanted to eat them ALL. And all the time. I for one, know how beneficial garlic can be to the immune system and boosting health in general, so how can I give that up? Well apparently onion, garlic and other delicious foods can be categorized under this umbrella of foods called FODMAPS. Which brings me back to my question- what the heck is a FODMAP?? All bad and evil, apparently. At least to someone with a sensitive stomach. 

FODMAPS stand for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) which a lot of people can have trouble digesting. They are found in so many foods that we eat on a daily basis, and research has proved that people suffering from IBS (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain etc) can benefit from a diet that restricts these carbs. 

So I decided to try it. I am going to post some pictures and lists of high and low FODMAP foods so you know what I’m up against. But honestly it’s been three days (yes, only three) and I feel better already. Yes, it’s been hard. And yes, I want GARLIC. But man, I really think I’m feeling better. So I’ll keep on keeping on. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Fun with FODMAPS! 

Peace & Love,



Getting Off Gluten- It's Not As Easy As You Think DATE: 01/12/2012

OLD POST# 2 (See my previous post about why I'm bringing these back)

Ok, friends. This is hard. I posted about my intention to go gluten-free two weeks ago, and so far I have made it about one, maybe two days total. As I said before this stuff is everywhere!! I can't hide! I will tell you that being at home and having a fully stocked refrigerator and cabinets full of healthy gluten-free alternatives helps immensely. But as we know, this is not always possible...especially around the holidays and when the Patriots are in the playoffs. So here I am starting over at Day 1.

I will also admit my weaknesses and own up to all of the wheat/gluten containing items I have indulged in, namely beer, pizza, pasta. Ugh. I feel bloated just thinking about it. And I was when I was consuming it also, trust me. And my asthma flared up, I was sneezing, sneezing, wheezing, wheezing. And I can't believe how much energy I was lacking...no matter how much I slept, I still feel like I could sleep forever and day more. I must put an end to this!

So since I am clearly lacking willpower, despite knowing how gluten makes me feel, I started reading Wheat Belly, by William Davis, MD and found some interesting tidbits I want to share with you as I *really* start my gluten-free adventure. Like for real this time.

Dr. Davis is a cardiologist in Milwaukee, and sees lots of patients. And they are overweight. And it's not just because of the potato chips, soda, high-fat snacks they are consuming. Wheat products play a huge role also. He has personally lived through this- noticing how he felt sluggish all day after consuming a bagel, toast, waffles, etc for breakfast as opposed to eggs or some other wheat-free products. How did he combat this sluggishness? Coffee. Tons and tons of it. But that is not the answer; caffeine really just depletes the body of it's nutrition and natural healing systems.

But the USDA says we should all eat more whole grains, right? I think this is wrong. Sure, eliminating trans-fats will lower your cholesterol and is obviously good for you, but the increase of these "whole grains" in the average American diet, has certainly caused some other real issues.

Dr. Davis found that whole wheat bread increases blood sugar as much or more than table sugar. So he had his overweight, diabetic patients eliminate the foods that cause their blood sugar to rise the most; foods containing wheat.  And what happened? Their blood sugar dropped from the diabetic range to normal. The weight fell off, some losing up to even forty pounds. BUT the best part, is that by eliminating wheat they also noticed many other changes. Patients reported that their symptoms of acid reflux, alternating diarrhea and constipation, cramping, asthma symptoms, and even pain and inflammation from arthritis were basically improved or completely resolved.

And what happened when they "slipped up" and ate something containing wheat? Yup, back to feeling like garbage. The stomach pain, constant bathroom trips, joint swelling, and wheezing is back.

To me, that type of night and day difference is amazing. And makes going on this difficult journey so very worth it. That's all I can say right now. I can't wait to read more and to see how I feel in the next few weeks. Wish me luck!


Getting Off Gluten-DATE: 12/29/2011

Hi everyone! I'm updating my website and found some great old blog posts from my old site that I wanted to share. I am in the midst of working through some new dietary challenges and have been primarily gluten-free for many years now. I always feel better when I don't consume gluten and realize there is a reason. Keep reading... I know how difficult this lifestyle change can be, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on my initial journey going gluten-free 5 years ago. There are two posts, please enjoy! I've learned so much more since then so please keep an eye out for more posts on food and healing your gut coming soon! 


I had a beer last night and low and behold, I suddenly found myself with a stuffy nose. Not too cute when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone.

Had a second beer, and let the bloating begin.

Came home and ate oyster crackers. They’re small right? So they won’t hurt me? Wrong? I felt like garbage when I woke up.

I am writing this blog because I am about to embark on the scariest, toughest adventure I have faced yet; completely ridding my body of all and any products containing the evil protein, gluten. Why, you may ask? Because there is more and more proof (documented and from personal experiences) that most, if not ALL Americans these days are intolerant to gluten. It’s in absolutely everything!! And we all wonder why we feel like crap.

Personally it makes a huge difference to my body when I remove gluten from my diet. I no longer get unexpected headaches, brain fog, stomach bloating, aching, and all around I feel lighter. I have friends for which going gluten-free has changed their lives completely, riding them of symptoms of serious intestinal disease. This is why I’ve decided it’s time for me to finally say goodbye to bread, pasta, beer, marinades, baked goods....etc, and get off the sauce.

But what will I eat??! Don’t worry, follow my blog on my new adventure in gluten-free eating and you’ll see that there are plenty of foods that you can still enjoy without suffering. And of course, I may slip up from time to time (gluten is sneaky and hides in everything), so find out what happens when I eat something gluteny (yes, I made that word up) and pay the price.

I also started reading Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by Dr. William Davis, so look forward to many facts and statistics about how gluten sensitivity plays a major part in so many ailments that modern Americans suffer from. I can’t wait to to share this all with you!

Dr. Mark Hyman, pioneer of Functional Medicine recently wrote an article about gluten with an oh-so-scary title and similar oh-so-scary content. Read his take on how gluten is hurting us all: