Enjoying the Holidays with Low FODMAP

With the holidays around the corner, this is the time of year we typically look forward to the sweet and savory meals such as a delicious cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie to name a few. With many of us having received a recent diagnosis of SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth, we might feel anxious about having to decide between ditching our low FODMAP diet and risk relapsing and not having anything enjoyable to eat. However restricting the low FODMAP diet can be, there are still many delicious and creative recipes that won’t leave you feeling like you are missing out on one of the best parts of the holidays. 

For those of you who don’t know, SIBO is one of the underlying causes of many gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, abdominal pain, bloating and more. Treatment goals surround eradicating the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine (which should have relatively low amounts of bacteria, by the way). 

The low FODMAP diet is a diet designed to starve the bacteria of the fermentable sugars they love to feed on which keeps them thriving in our gut. What are FODMAPs you ask? FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. I know that sounds intense, but all you need to know is that certain foods that are higher in these specific types of sugars are best avoided during the treatment phase of SIBO. Foods higher in these FODMAPs include garlic, onion, brussel sprouts, legumes, wheat/rye, lactose and apples (Full FODMAP chart linked below). 

Below I have listed some seasonal recipes to try that will leave you both guilt and symptom free throughout the holidays! (keep in mind some of these recipes may contain ingredients that are in the restricted column – this is because the serving size is small and therefore considered ‘low FODMAP’). 

Main Courses

Side Dishes


Here are some more recipe links to check out along with resources for low FODMAP products:

Some final tips:

  • Space out your meals 3-4 hours. By doing so you allow your gut time to be cleared out before introducing the next meal. 
  • Bitters. Bitters like gentian or dandelion before a meal help to stimulate the enzymes needed to properly digest your food. 
  • Digestive enzymes after large meals help break down food in the stomach assisting in overall digestion. 
  • Don’t stress! Easier said than done, right? While the holidays are supposed to be fun and enjoyable, they can also be extremely stressful at times. If you are in a position where there isn’t anything low FODMAP to eat, that’s ok. Still eat what is available to you without feeling guilty or paranoid. You’ll get back on track and be able to plan better for the next meal! 
  • Remind yourself that this diet is only temporary. The better you stick it out the faster you’ll be able to enjoy the other foods in moderation. 
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