My name is Jessica, I’m 29 years old and I’ve struggled with IBS and acid reflux for over 17 years. My symptoms started around when I was 12, and I was officially diagnosed when I was 14 after a month of various testing (Upper GI, Endoscopy, and a Colonoscopy). For years after my diagnosis, I struggled to figure out what caused my IBS flare-ups and couldn’t really get a handle on my illness. I was sick a lot – I missed days of school and work, important events with friends and family, or I felt so sick that I couldn’t enjoy where I was and what I was doing. I constantly had anxiety worrying about when I’d get sick, if I’d be able to find a bathroom, if I’d be able to travel or make important events, or if my friends would understand when I had to cancel last minute or was late.
But just over 4 years ago, I finally found a gastroenterologist who knew about the FODMAP diet.
I started following it strictly, and within a week I felt the best I had in years. The FODMAP diet was the first time I finally started feeling good on a regular basis! It changed my life, and for a long time I felt really healthy. But after some stomach bugs and antibiotic use, in the last 1.5 years, I’ve started to struggle with IBS flare-ups again. Recently to try and combat these flare-ups, I’ve fine tuned my diet, and currently I’m following a combination of a Keto and low-FODMAP diet. I’ve been doing this strictly for about a month, and have been feeling significantly better. This combo diet actually has many overlaps with the Paleo diet, which is why I’m so excited to be featured on PaleoMenu!
I currently avoid grains, regular dairy, sugars, and processed foods. I stick to healthy fats and proteins, with low-FODMAP veggies and small portions of low-sugar fruit. However, while meat is allowed and encouraged on the Paleo Diet, I don’t digest red meat well, so I stick to poultry or very small amounts of red meat once in awhile. And while dairy is not included in a Paleo diet, I do eat lactose free or very low-lactose dairy products, somewhat for variety, and to help add fat/protein to my diet. So what does this look like in a typical week on a day-to-day basis? Lots of home-cooking and meal prep! I usually make scrambled or medium boiled eggs for work with some low-lactose cheese and tomatoes, a salad with protein (chicken mostly) for lunch, and healthy nuts like macadamia nuts or almonds, for a snack. Sometimes I’ll add in a lactose free organic yogurt with a bit of nut butter and berries for breakfast instead of eggs, or for a pre-workout snack. But when I’m not working, and I have some time, I really get to have fun and be creative. I’ve listed some of my favorite meals that I get to make on the weekend or when I have a day off. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Eating eggs several days a week can get boring fast, so I definitely look for new ways to make them more appealing! I adapted the below recipe from Pete & Gerry’s Organic Egg’s Cloud Eggs recipe. I included cheese in mine, but you could easily omit it and these would still be delicious.
Cloud Eggs with Paleo bacon
*Makes 4-6 servings
4 large organic brown eggs
⅓ cup chopped chives
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (naturally low-lactose)
4 slices of Paleo bacon, chopped
*Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425F / 210 C.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks, putting the yolks in a small bowl and egg whites in a large bowl – be careful not to break the yolks!
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
- Using a spatula, carefully fold in chopped chives and shredded cheddar cheese
- On a non-stick baking mat or tray, gently spoon the egg whites into 4-6 mounds, leaving a bit of space between each. Season with salt & pepper if desired
- Place egg whites into oven for 3 minutes
- In the center of the mound, use a spoon to create a small crater. Gently spoon in 1 egg yolk per mound
- Place back into the oven for 3 more minutes, or until yolks get to your desired level of cooking
- Once out of the oven, sprinkle with chopped Paleo bacon (I use Wellshire Farms paleo bacon since it’s sugar free and garlic/onion free!)
On weekends I always like to break away from my typical salad and lately I’ve been making the most delicious lunch! I started making chicken salad with cucumber “crackers”, and it is so tasty! The cucumber “crackers” really helps satisfy the crunch I miss from real crackers.
Chicken Salad with Cucumber “Crackers”
*Makes 2-3 servings
1 pack of raw Organic Chicken Tenders (I buy 365 brand from Whole foods, and it’s about 6 strips of chicken per pack)
1-2 tbsp of Chose Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
1 tbsp of Lars Own Spicy Brown Mustard
1-2 tbsp chopped chives
2 radishes, diced
½ small carrot, diced
¼-½ of a small yellow pepper, diced
1 medium cucumber, chopped into ¼ slices
*Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook chicken tenders either baked in the oven or on the stove until internal temp reaches 165 F / 73 C
- Once cooked, shred chicken with two forks in a medium bowl
- Once fully shredded, mix in mayo and mustard until chicken is fully coated – you can make this as creamy or not as you like! Just use more or less mayo & mustard
- Add in the chopped veggies and chives – I love carrots and radishes, and I really like the bit of crunch they give to the mixture. I use yellow pepper because it’s the most easily digested of raw peppers, and I like the slightly sweet/slightly spicy flavor it adds. And since I can’t tolerate onion or garlic, I use chives instead
- I’ll usually season with some fresh cracked pepper and a bit of salt to taste
- Once the chicken salad is ready, I dollop it onto the sliced cucumber crackers and I’ll sometimes add a slice of gouda or sharp cheddar cheese – but again, this is easily omitted!
My absolute favorite meal to make for dinner is Taco Zucchini Boats! They are SO tasty, I’ve made them for a lot of friends and family who don’t follow Paleo/Keto/FODMAP diets and they are always a huge hit! The best part is you can use literally any protein for these – chicken, fish, red meat, or even tofu! There is so much flavor packed into these boats, you don’t even miss the taco shell or the onion and garlic! I adapted this recipe from Buzzfeed Tasty to be low-FODMAP.
Taco Zucchini Boats
*Makes 4 servings
Protein of choice – I use large, wild caught shrimp, about 15-18 of them. I chop the shrimp into pieces so they’re easy to fit inside the zucchini boats. If you want to use chicken, I recommend 2 chicken breasts and shred them after cooking
3 Medium-Large Zucchinis (these need to be a decent size because you’ll be scooping out the center and need room for fillings!)
1 large yellow pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (remove seeds!)
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 block of cojita or mexican blend cheese (optional!)
Taco Seasoning (I use Fody Foods Taco Seasoning, since it’s 100% low-FODMAP)
Salsa (I use Fody Foods Salsa, again since it’s 100% low-FODMAP)
Lactose free sour cream (optional! I used Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Sour Cream)
- Preheat oven to 375 F / 190 C.
- Cut zucchinis in half and using a spoon, scoop out the center, but don’t go all the way to the skin! Leave a thick edge on the sides and bottom. You just want enough room to fit in the filling. Place each boat onto a cooking tray lined with tin foil.
- Cook your protein. If using shrimp, cook it in a pan with some coconut oil and season with the taco seasoning. Cook until shrimp are curled up and cooked through. Chop shrimp into pieces
- Add shrimp into boats – a few pieces in each boat will do! Then add on top the diced yellow pepper and jalapeno
- Dollop on the salsa! The juices from the salsa really add to the flavor here. Top salsa with grated cojita cheese or mexican shredded cheese if desired
- Pop these into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and cheese, if used, has browned
- Remove from oven, spritz with a bit of fresh lime juice and top with a bit of lactose free sour cream if desired. Let cool for a bit as these are super hot when they first come out!
Since starting the keto portion of my diet, I’ve been really challenged to make snacks and sweet treats that are both keto and low-FODMAP! I’m still working on the sweet treats, but recently I made a great, super filling snack – Macadamia Nut Rosemary Bread! I have a slice of this with a teeny bit of butter, and it’s really tasty. I adapted the recipe from Flavcity.
Macadamia Nut Rosemary bread
*makes 1 loaf of bread, or about 14 slices. Each slice is about 200 calories and 4.7g total carbs
*You’ll need 1 bread loaf pan, glass or non-stick
1 cup roasted & salted (or unsalted) macadamia nuts
¾ cup melted cocoa butter (Flavcity uses coconut butter, but cocoa butter is much easier to digest, so I used that. You can buy this in chip form in a bag on Amazon if your local grocery store doesn’t have them)
5 large organic brown eggs
½ tsp salt (you can omit this if you use salted nuts)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of ½ lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.
- Using a food processor, blend macadamia nuts for 30 seconds. Then, add 1 egg at a time, making sure egg is fully blended before adding the next one
- Once all eggs are added and blended, turn off the processor and add in the melted cocoa butter and salt if needed. Turn processor back on and blend
- Turn machine back off, and add lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, and baking soda. Process again for 15 seconds
- Lightly grease the sides of your loaf pan with coconut butter or olive oil (even if it’s non-stick)
- Pour in the batter, tap gently on the counter to get out any air pockets, and pop it in the oven!
- Bake for 35-40 mins (mine took 40), or until golden brown at the top. Remove from the oven and let it stand in the pan for 5 minutes. If you skip this step your loaf will sink! After 5 mins, remove loaf from pan and put on a cooling rack for at least 15 mins.
- Slice and enjoy!
*According to Flavcity, the bread should last in an airtight container for 3 days, or frozen for 3 months.
If you would like to keep up with Jessica, follow her on Instagram @little_lady_fodmap
Would you like to receive recipes for a full week of paleo eating from paleo enthusiasts from all over the world? Subscribe now! It’s FREE.