FODMAPS, nightshades, and dairy. Oh my!

As the New Year starts, it seems like everyone is on a new diet, doing a Whole 30 or a 21 Day Sugar Detox.  All good ideas after the buffet that is the month of December.  Seriously easy to get addicted to sweets in a short period of time.  Damn you Trader Joe’s and your dark chocolate oranges and chocolate covered peppermint marshmallows.  

I am embarking on a little experimental journey after listening to Chris Kresser’s Revolutionary Health Radio podcast about the gut/skin connection.  He is kind of a genius and I know I still have a few lingering stomach and skin issues, so his advice seemed like it was meant just for me!

Warning to anybody new to paleo that is reading this. This is not paleo. It is a temporary, modified paleo protocol to heal a stomach that has been irritated from years of digesting things it shouldn’t have been and too many antibiotics.  If the food list sounds awful (and it kind of is) don’t fret.  This probably doesn’t concern you.  I do think it may work wonders for me.

So his advice to heal a “broken” stomach is to eat paleo without dairy, without nightshades and without FODMAPS and give yourself a chance to heal. My goal is 1 month.  Specifically January.  It sounded a lot easier than it is proving to be.

Foods to eliminate (irritating to the stomach)
Dairy: All except ghee (clarified butter).
Nightshades: All tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants (not sweet potatoes)
FODMAPS: this part is freaking me out a bit

Here are a couple of links and pictures to help explain, but I am not even going to try. I am still confused. 

Lots of really great, healthy, yummy, whole foods are on this list, because different components of them affect various people in a negative way. For example, onions, garlic and coconut can be extremely irritating to a damaged stomach. Wow, those are 3 of my favorite things! Aaaggh. I wouldn’t say that I am a pepper person, but I read through my spice rack and had to take about half of them out. Paprika, cayenne pepper, Penzey’s Breakfast seasoning, and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce are taking a little chill in the cabinet for a while. 
A big problem for me with the FODMAPS info and charts is it’s meant for people with IBS that eat a traditional Standard American Diet.  That is not me in any way, shape or form. So a lot of the food on the “you can eat this” is not for me.  Grains, tofu, etc…I am not even going to start in on the message boards I read that discussed which artificial sweeteners were okay for a low FODMAPS diet, and which weren’t.  Why try to get better if you are just going to keep eating chemicals?
I really haven’t found any really helpful information after searching around. Maybe what I can put together here can help somebody else that is looking for food/recipes that they can eat to follow this protocol.   
So what am I eating for the next few weeks?
Meat: chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc…
Carbs: sweet potatoes
Veggies: cucumbers, carrots, celery, maybe broccoli and zucchini
Fruits: Bananas, blueberries, raspberries and lemon/lime/orange
Sweetener: Maple syrup
Oils: coconut oil, olive oil, nut oils
Other: nuts, seeds and some very dark chocolate
Biggest obstacles so far:
No onion or garlic for cooking.  Kind of a big deal.  But apparantly these are two of the most commonly irritating foods to the stomach, so I really have to follow through on those.  Running to the store tonight to find garlic infused oil which seems to be okay for cooking.
I am hoping that at the end of the month I can have wonderful things to say about this protocol. No matter how healthy your diet is, if your stomach is in bad shape, you can’t digest and assimilate all the vitamins and nutrients you are taking into your system.  That is likely why I am always borderline anemic and low on calcium, even though I eat REALLY WELL.  Chris Kresser seems to generally know his stuff and has prescribed this to his patients with great results. 
My goal is that I can introduce some of those questionable foods back in and have no ill effects.  (This is where i am crossing my fingers that I can have my onions and garlic and coconut milk back.)
Food Log for Day 1 & 2:
Bacon/Sweet Potatoes
Puerto Rican Beef from Everyday Paleo cookbook
 (minus the peppers, garlic and onion) with sweet potatoes
Cucumber salad with Ume Plum vinegar
Dark chocolate and almond milk
Burger with lettuce (no bun) and clementines
Crockpot Ginger Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Carrots


  1. Libbie

    Wow, TONS of stuff get eliminated, huh, Laci!? Such a seemingly short list of green light foods. I love these types of experiments, though, and I hope you find your culprit(s). Keep us posted on this one.

  2. Laci

    Oh, I knew you would be an experiment fan. Although, I am a bit intimidated on how exclusive it is. All with good reason, from what I can tell. Apparantly, those healthy leafy greens are like sandpaper on an irritated stomach. So leaving them out for now. And avocado. OMG. I love avocado.

  3. Cynthia

    Hi there – I was just wondering how this went for you. Did your gut issues get resolved by doing this for 30 days? Did you have to go longer? What were your gut issues? Gas and bloating, constipation/diarrhea, intestinal cramping/urgency? Good for you for being so dedicated! -Dr. Cynthia Clark, AP, ACN

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